Indo-Pacific: Red Sea, Zanzibar, Maldives, St. Brandon's Shoals, Sri Lanka, Chagos, Nazareth Bank, Sumatra, and Fiji. Recently recorded from Tonga (Ref. 53797). Subspecies, Plectropomus pessuliferus marisburi occurs in the Red Sea, while Plectropomus pessuliferus pessuliferus from the rest of the Indo-Pacific region (Ref. 3150). Often misidentified as Plectropomus maculatus.