Elzunia humboldt has a wingspan of about 80–85 millimetres (3.1–3.3 in). This species is quite variable depending on the subspecies. The uppersides of the wings are black, with a series of small white spots on the margins. At the base of the hindwings usually there is a broad yellow band, while in the middle of the forewings usually there are one or more white spots. The undersides of the wings have a similar pattern to the uppersides, but the basic colour is reddish instead of black and the hindwings usually have two series of white spots.