The bronze copper has a wingspan of about one and one-half inches. The male and female have different coloration. The upperside of the male’s forewings is brown with some small, dark spots. The upperside of his hindwings is similar in color but has an orange band along the edge. The upperside of the female’s forewings is orange with dark spots and a dark band near the edge. Her hindwing is brown with an orange border. The underside of the forewings in both species is orange with dark spots, and the underside of the hindwings is gray-orange with an outer orange band and black spots throughout the wing.
The larva is green with a dark-green, mid-dorsal stripe surrounded by yellow-green stripes and has numerous short spines over the body. Larvae eat curly dock (Rumex crispus) plants. Two generations are raised per year, with mature caterpillars present from July to September. Adults are active from May through October. The species overwinters as an egg.