A large butterfly with reddish-orange forewings. The hindwings are blackish-gray with silvery-white spots. There are other species of fritillaries in the state. As with all brush-footed butterflies, the first pair of legs are shortened, somewhat hairy-looking, and useless for walking. Larvae are velvety black to yellowish or deep orange, with orange or reddish stripes, and with yellowish-white, branching spines with black tips.