Reptile and Amphibian Care – Lighting

While focused light can be used to mimic the heat of the sun, it does not provide the proper ultraviolet light (UV) all herptiles need to properly synthesize calcium. Also UV light is important for healthy skin nd vision. All herptiles in captivity should have some source of UV light, specifically, both UVA and UVB. UV light can be provided in several ways. First, a UV bulb can be placed so that its light shines directly onto the herptile. Second, the herptile, and/or its enclosure, can be brought into contact with direct sunlight several times a week. It should b noted that UV light and its benefits are filtered by both glass and plastic. This means that a UV light shining through glass or plastic onto a herptile is effectively useless. Sunlight or UV light provided by a UV light bulb shining through screen, or better yet, directly onto a herptile is required for benefits to be gained. Also, while bringing your herptile outside to get direct sunlight is a good way to provide the crucial element, it may not be advisable depending on other surrounding environmental or social conditions. For example, if it is cold outside your herptile will get cold, which is not advisable, or if you have a large snake your neighbors may not appreciate you taking it out to “sun” it as it may be frightening to them. Always take into consideration the effects on both your pets and your fellow human beings when bringing your pets outdoors.

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