The Elaphidiini have a widespread distribution, but with distinct concentrations of diversity. The "elaphidiine" group is most concentrated in México and the West Indies, extending into South America and Canada. The "sphaerionine" group is most concentrated in South America, extending into Central America and México. The "phoracanthine" group occurs in Australia, New Guinea, Tasmania, and adjacent islands (Wang, et. al., 1996), although some species have been introduced elsewhere. Some taxa from Asia (Allotraeus) and Africa (Cordylomera) have also been included within the phoracanthine group. The number of described Elaphidiini in the Western Hemisphere exceeds 500 species (Monné, 1993). In México alone the number is over 200 species (Chemsak,1991; Monné, 1993; Monné and Giesbert, 1993). The phoracanthine group approaches 150 species (Wang, 1996). Thus, there are over 700 species currently assigned to Elaphidiini.
Excluding the phoracanthine group, this tribe has a very unusual ratio of species to genera. There are 86 genera occurring in the Western Hemisphere. Of these, 32 are monotypic (37%), 15 are bitypic (17%), and only 39 (46%) have more than two species (many have only three species).