Rhopalocarpus coriaceus is known from populations along the east coast of Madagascar, specifically in the regions of Sava, Alaotra Mangoro, Atsimo-Atsinanana, Analanjirofo and Anosy. Its habitat is coastal forests from sea-level to 500 m (1,600 ft) altitude. Some populations are within protected areas.
Rhopalocarpus coriaceus is threatened by shifting patterns of agriculture. Because the species is used as timber, subsistence harvesting is also a threat.