Found in the Mediterranean, southern Portugal, Madeira and the Cherbourg Peninsula in France. In Britain it was for many years known only from Chesil Beach in Dorset. This led to the now refuted notion that the species was introduced to Britain during The Second World War in sand from the Mediterranean region. Following the discovery of a second colony between Branscombe and Beer Head in Devon in 1998, and colonies on the Island of Sark in the Channel Islands and in Pembrokeshire, Wales during 2000, the species is now recognised as a true native of the British Isles.
Species with a similar range