The Aphrodite fritillary has a wingspan of two and one-half to three and one-half inches. The female is larger than the male. The upperside of the wings is orange with black marks, and most individuals have a black mark in the plain section near the base of the forewing. The underside of the hindwing is red-brown and may have a light brown band between the two rows of silver spots at the edge of the wing. The larva is generally black with a small orange spot on the head.
This species can be found in a variety of open habitats. Adults feed on nectar. Larvae eat violet plants. The female lays an egg on or near violet plants in late summer. The caterpillar hatches, finds a place to shelter and then becomes inactive until spring. Adults are active from the middle of June through early September. Mature larvae are seen in late May and June.