The larva feeds on grasses.
Maniola jurtina colonizes extensive meadows and pastures. The butterfly is common for example in limestone grasslands, on flood embankments or in humid meadows around wetlands.
The caterpillar overwinters small and is mature in June. It is occasionally found close to the ground during the day in April/May. The adults fly between late June and August/September.
Overall, Maniola jurtina is not endangered. The butterfly is still quite common in regions with relatively much extensively managed grasslands as the Swabian Alb, although there is a retreat from agricultural land into juniper grasslands and similar habitats. Maniola jurtina is missing in the intensive agricultural land as in manure dandelion meadows. In other areas such as in many parts of the northern foreland of the Alps Maniola jurtina has been virtually eradicated (small rests in fen meadows around moors). Here it occurs only at the direct edge of the Alps again ab it more common in wet meadows or on steep, not intense mowable slopes and other special locations.
The distribution ranges from the Canary Islands and North-West Africa across Europe, Asia and Siberia.
Especially in the eastern Mediterranean some closely related forms have been described as distinct species in the last decades.