Africa: widely distributed in West Africa, where it is known from most hydrographic basins (Ref. 53405). Also in the Nile basin, Lake Chad basin and in the upper Zambezi (Ref. 5644). Distribution of this species and overlap with Hemichromis elongatus unclear, but probably absent from the Congo basin (see also Ref. 43352, 52307, 53405, 81260). Introduced around 1970 in a stream fed by hot springs in Villach (Austria) (Ref. 59043).