Favors subtropical waters but enters tropical and temperate waters seasonally. In the eastern Atlantic it occurs from Portugal south to South Africa, including Madeira and the Canary Islands; it also may be found in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. In the western Atlantic, it is distributed from Canada to Florida and Bermuda and south as far as Argentina. In the Pacific, it is found throughout most of Australia, except for the Northern Territory but is absent from the northwest Pacific, virtually all of the central Pacific, and the eastern Pacific. In the Indian Ocean, this species ranges from East Africa and Madagascar north to southern Oman and east to southwest India, the Malay Peninsula, and Western Australia. Records from Hawaii and Taiwan require verification, and those from New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Northern Territory of Australia probably are in error.

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