A small butterfly, and unmistakeably chequered black and white - the black being the dominant colour - and ornamented with numerous white square patches. The edging fringe is also black and white. Both sexes are similar but the male carries the sexual scent gland in a fold in the edge of the forewing. The underside of the wings are lighter, a grey-green colour with more obvious white patches.
It is normally seen on the wing in May and early June.
Very little nectaring takes place but they occasionally visit Buttercups and other small yellow flowers.