Circumglobal in tropical and tropically influenced seas. Indo-Pacific: South Africa to the central Pacific islands, north to Japan and Korea, south to southeastern Australia. Eastern Pacific: Baja California to Peru. Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada (Ref. 47377) and New Jersey, USA to probably Argentina (Ref. 11441). Abundant at St. Helena but no substantiated records in eastern Atlantic from the African coastal region or the Canary Islands. Often misidentified as Cookeolus boops, a junior synonym of Heteropriacanthus cruentatus (Ref. 11441).