Cethosia hypsea has toothed wings, sawtooth-like wings on the hindwings. The color of the upper wings is bright orange-red with broad black borders, the underside is orange-red with white bands and black dots or stripes forming intricate patterns. The wing borders are dark coloured and deeply indented with lace-like pattern of white marking. Adult Cethosia hypsea colors are lighter in color to warn predators of their poison. Individual females have a slightly yellowish white patch on the dorsal side and the color of the wings is paler.
Larva: larvae of Cethosia hypsea have a cylindrical body shape yellowish brown, body length about 3 mm. The head is black, on the first thoracic segment there are a pair of short black spines. Its body is covered in dark tubecles with one long setae each. Over time the color of his body becomes dark wine-red and the setae becomes longer.
Pupa: Cethosia hypsea pupa hanging vertically, pale brown mottled with white and black patches. The pupa is about 26-29 mm long.