When first hatched, gilded koppis hatchlings are small enough to fit on a magi's fingertip, and their shells are still soft enough that it's recommended to keep them in a small enclosure at all times to avoid tragedy. For their first few days, a single lettuce leaf and some generous mistings of water are sufficient to keep them fed and entertained, making them very easy hatchlings to care for at first. However, as their shells harden, they start wanting to explore outside their enclosures. While the hardened shell can protect them from harm, their small size makes them very easy to lose track of, so magi raising them tend to get very adept at tracking spells.
Gilded koppises are the size of an especially large gold piece, but hardier than the toughest cast iron. If they are ever threatened, they simply retreat within their shells, where very little can break through, though some particularly enterprising birds still attempt to eat them by catching them by surprise. Gilded koppises generally have little to fear as long as they stay alert, though, and are thus bold, inquisitive creatures. Despite their small stature, they originally hail from the rainforests of Tetzcotal, where they enjoy swimming in the large puddles caught by leaf divots in the giant plants after rainstorms. They shed their shiny shells once a year, which can be gathered to make armor that is durable, light, and gorgeous. The sheer number of shells needed for such an undertaking, as well as the dangers of exploring Tetzcotal, means some enterprising crafters have introduced them to the greenhouses of Synara lately, where they have come to thrive as well, though the ones grown in Synara tend to be much smaller.
Sprite art: Mysfytt | Description: Kestrad