The caterpillar lives on Filipendula vulgaris. In breeding, it also accepts Filipendula ulmaria.
Brenthis hecate inhabits especially seasonally wet and dry nutrient-poor grasslands which are mostly interspersed with scrub or are situated near forests.
The caterpillar overwinters in the egg shell and tdevelops until late May. It is apparently in all instars active both at daytime and night and rests according to breeding observations between meals often a bit concealed between parts of dry vegetation or stems of larval food plant. The adults fly depending on the location from late May to July. I met many butterflies in the Andalusian Sierra de Cazorla in late May on seasonally dry pastures.
As the habitats are easily intensificated, they fall victim to a frightening extent to modern agriculture, but also too dense afforestation or overbuilding.
The distribution extends from some Spanish mountains across Southern France and Northern Italy to Southeastern Europe (north for example to eastern Austria). From there it extends across Asia Minor to the Altai.