In the grasses, in the meadows, by the wood’s edges, down along the sparkling streams, the coppers play. Merry is their dancing and happy their flight from flower to flower. The under-wings are duller than the bright-colored upper-wings so that their defense against enemies is not often to fly from them, but to hide quickly in the grass or flowers, cling to a stem and fold the wings together. The dull colors merge with the foliage around them, hiding them. But sometimes one is seen to fly right into the heart of a copper-colored flower and then the wings are spread flat so that the bright upper wing color merges with the flower’s bright colors.
The Lustrous Copper is one of the most beautiful of all coppers, with its deep rich reddish-brown color and attractively-arranged black dots. It is a dweller in the high mountains of the Sierras and Cascades, from Tulare County in California to northern Oregon, and is one of the most attractive denizens of the mountain meadows.
Since many of the coppers live in the caterpillar stage on the mountain sorrel and this is a common plant in the mountain sorrel and this is a common plant in the mountain meadows, probably the caterpillar of the Lustrous Copper lives on this too, but we have no definite record. Caterpillars of the coppers are usually tiny and green and merge almost perfectly with the leaves of the plants on which they feed.