This week’s featured vivarium orchid is Dendrobium bracteosum. From New Guinea, this is one of my favorite orchids for vivariums and I almost always include it in any vivarium I create. Under the right conditions, it seems to never go out of bloom, always being covered with beautiful, bright pink flowers with orange-yellow lips. The flowers are also sometimes a bright white, but I have usually seen them in pink. Whenever I visit one of my vivarium clients, I can virtually count on seeing this orchid in bloom. Properly placed, this orchid will form a clump of 6” stems with glossy, bright green leaves. This orchid needs very good light, about 2,500-3,500 footcandles, so it needs to be placed in the top of the canopy of your vivarium tree or a similar very high spot in the vivarium. It does best mounted in a tree or on wood or cork. It likes to be moist, so should be placed where the misting system will hit it fully. It also likes intermediate to warm temperatures, so the warmth up at the top of the vivarium is perfect for it. This orchid creates a perfect microenvironment up in the tree canopy – a dense, moist leafy clump – that is very useful for many of the thumbnail arboreal dart frogs (Ranitomeya & Oophaga ssp.), small tree frogs and many of the small arboreal lizards, such as serrated-tailed tree lizards (Holaspis guentheri), small day geckos (Phelsuma sp.), other small geckos, grass lizards (Takydromus sexlineatus) and green anoles (Anolis carolinensis). Such leafy plant clumps in the tree canopy can be even more useful for many species than bromeliads, offering a multitude of tight hiding spots that are moist but not full of water, as well as perching/basking spots right under the lights. Such areas may also be used as egg deposition sites by some lizards, notably Phelsumas. So you can see that Dendrobium bracteosum is a beautiful and useful addition to your vivarium.