Asia-Temperate: Taiwan (Taiwan present), Asia-Tropical: New Guinea present; Philippines (Philippines present); Thailand (Thailand present), Austral Is present, Australasia: Queensland (Queensland present), Cook Is present, N.E. Australia present, Pacific present: Fiji (Fiji present); Samoa (Samoa present), Rapa present, S.E. Asia present, Tahiti present
S.E. Asia (Thailand, Taiwan), through Malesia (Philippines, New Guinea) to N.E. Australia (Queensland) and the Pacific (Cook Is., Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Rapa, Austral Is.).
When writing Species Filicum, Hooker suppressed his earlier name Alsophila poly- podioides (although citing the specimen) and this was not listed by Christensen in Index Filicum. This species has been much confused with the preceding and with M. setigera. In 1923 Maxon pointed out the distinctions between M. poly- podioides (which he named Dryopteris leucolepis) and M. torresiana (which he named D. setigera).