The Coastal North Island Copper is extremely abundant and widespread in suitable habitat.
It is found on sand-dunes and rocky coasts wherever large patches of Muehlenbeckia grow. In Auckland they can be found at Muriwai, Waiheke Island, Bethells Beach, Bastion Point, Wenderholm and little Huia. They are abundant from late October through till April.
Coppers lay their eggs along the bottom edges of leaves. Their caterpillars are velvety green and move very slowly. Unlike most caterpillars, they pupate on the ground amongst dry leaf litter. They overwinter in a state of either diapause or quiescence which slows the insect’s metabolic rate, allowing it to survive the colder weather. In Coppers, this is thought to be in part a means of adaptation to the seasonal unavailability of their partially deciduous food plants.
Neither Rauparaha’s Copper nor the North Island Glade Copper typically travels more than 20-50 metres from their larval food plants, making it necessary to have plants that both the caterpillars and the butterflies eat near each other.
They usually fly close to the ground with a rapid, jerky flight pattern.
REF: NZ Forest and Bird