Bronze Copper & American copper

Male Bronze Copper. The dorsal surface of his wings is painted with beautiful shades of purple and orange. 

Ventral view of a Bronze Copper. Bronze Coppers live in wetland habitats. I find them at Siebenthaler Fen, and also at Cedar Bog and the Beavercreek Wildlife Area. Bronze Coppers can also be found along river banks. The two individuals at left and below were photographed along the Great Miami River near Miamisburg. 

Female Bronze Copper. Females look quite different from the males. Their dorsal wing pattern is similar to the American Copper, but Bronze Coppers are larger and prefer wetter habitat. 

Ventral view of a Bronze Copper, photographed at Siebenthaler Fen.   

Some researchers believe that the American Copper might have been introduced from Europe. (This theory is disputed, and others believe that these butterflies are native to both continents.) Our "American" Coppers are called Small Coppers in Europe. 

This is an American Copper butterfly. Smaller than the Bronze Copper, American Coppers are found in drier habitats (such as fields and meadows). There is a distinctive thin red line on the hindwing. American Coppers are quite uncommon; the only place I have encountered them to date is Huffman Prairie. I find American Coppers at Huffman Prairie in small numbers from late June through early August. 

Bronze Copper nectaring on a tiny aster. Bronze Coppers fly from late May through early October. (My personal early and late sightings are May 26th and October 13th.)