Inhabits the temperate waters of the North Atlantic. Although there is considerable overlap, it appears to prefer slightly colder waters than M. europaeus. Most stranding records are from the western North Atlantic, with the relatively few strandings in the eastern North Atlantic focused around Ireland and France. The northernmost record is from Saint Ann's Bay, Nova Scotia and southernmost from San Salvador Island, Bahamas. It has been reported in the Gulf of Mexico, but further verification of its occurence in this area is needed.
From strandings in South Africa and South Australia it is evident that this species is also distributed in the warm temperate waters of the southern Indian Ocean. There appears to be a distributional break in the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
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