Eurasia: Black Sea (northwestern parts), Sea of Azov and Caspian Sea, also most of the affluent rivers of the area, reaching as far as 60 km inland. Also, Lake Palaeostomi (Bulgaria) and in Bay of Feodosiya (Romania), also Lake Apolyont (Turkey) (Ref. 188). Two subspecies are recognized by some,
Clupeonella cultriventris cultriventris (Nordmann, 1840) from the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and Clupeonella cultriventris caspia (Svetovidov, 1941) from the Caspian Sea (Ref. 26334, 39702).