It has been suggested that vascular epiphyte composition and abundance may be influenced by forest host composition. We studied the epiphyte species distribution among host species of a tropical dry forest in Mexico. All the epiphyte stands supported by woody plants (dbh > 3 cm) of ten forest plots (0.1 ha each) were counted. We measured the dbh of all the hosts, noted their bark characteristics (texture and peeling behaviour), and measured the bark thickness of the most abundant host species. Epiphyte distribution was biased toward a high concentration of epiphytes in three host species and a lower abundance of epiphytes on five host species. This was consistent among epiphyte taxa and host species, allowing us to classify hosts as preferred (with more epiphyte stands than expected by chance) and limiting species (with fewer epiphyte stands than expected by chance), at a community level. Host quality did not relate to mean phorophyte size (measured as basal area) or to bark characteristics (peeling behaviour, thickness and texture) between species. For some epiphyte taxa, the observed distribution indicated that the forest contained preferred and limiting host species mainly. Our data suggest that the epiphyte species in the forest studied could be host limited. We concluded that neither host size nor obvious bark characteristics can be used to predict epiphyte distribution and that further research is necessary.