The Gulf Fritillary is about 2-3 inches wide. The wings are bright orange above with black spots and lines and pale brownish orange below with many large silvery markings. It has three distinct silvery spots at the front edge of the fore-wings that are visible above and below. Female Gulf Fritillaries lay small, yellow eggs singly on the leaves or tendrils of the host plant. The caterpillar is bright orange and covered in rows of black spines on its head and back. The spines are soft and non-stinging. It feeds exclusively on species of passion flower. The chrysalis is approximately 3 cm (1.2 in) long with a mottled brown coloration that looks like a dry leaf.
Found in parks, gardens and open, sunny areas such as roadsides, meadows, and pastures.
Adults begin a mass southward migration in the fall to South Florida where they spend the winter.