It is found in forest, scrub and cultivation in southern and central India. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the white-throated fantail.
The adult white-spotted fantail is about 19 cm long. It has a dark fan-shaped tail, edged in white, and white supercilium and throat. Birds are mainly slate grey above, with a black eye mask, and a white throat and eyebrow. It has whitish underparts, and a grey breast band that is spotted white.
The white-spotted fantail is insectivorous, and often fans its tail as it moves through the undergrowth.