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This is one of the most widely distributed and also one of the most common ambrosia beetles in the warm parts of world, particularly in the wet tropical and subtropical forests. It belongs in the "Xyleborus s. str." clade (Cognato et al., 2011); several species of ambrosia beetles of which many are very common and widespread, and very difficult to tell apart. Despite its commonness, it is not a pest. X. affinis only colonizes dead and deteriorating trees that are also very moist, for example, on a moist forest floor.