The larva feeds on Rumex acetosa and R. acetosella, possibly also other Rumex species (especially in the Alps). In the Swabian Alb, I observed a young caterpillar on the edge of a nutrient-poor grassland at Rumex crispus, which grew singly on the bare ground (1. March 2007). However, Rumex acetosa is the main host plant also in this area.
Lycaena tityrus inhabits extensively managed open landscape from juniper heathland to alpine meadows and fens. In the lowlands it has already been pushed back to extensive islands. In the Swabian Alb, Lycaena tityrus occurs especially in superficially acidophilous grasslands with Calluna and Rumex acetosa. Lycaena tityrus tolerates up to twice mowing and only extensive grazing.
Lycaena tityrus flies in two, maybe locally three generations per year. In Central Europe it occurs from May to early July and from late July to early September. The caterpillar overwinters half-grown.
Lycaena tityrus has lost as former common meadow species approximately 90% of its sites in Central Europe (especially due to agricultural intensification). But it benefits somewhat from the global warming.
The total distribution ranges from Northern Spain across large parts of Europe and Asia to the Altai.