The silver-washed fritillary is a diurnal butterfly. In adults, the forewings are between 27 and 36 millimetres long. It is pale orange with an intricate pattern of black spots and lines on its upper wings. The underside of the rear wings is lime green and pink, crossed with silvery streaks. Females appear in two forms: one is similar to the male, while the other is darker in colour with a greenish coat.
Silver-washed fritillaries can be found in all types of forest habitats throughout Europe.
These butterflies are active from June to August. Females deposit eggs on spruce or pine trunks, and sometimes on violets or raspberry bushes, on which the larvae later feed.