Lighting and UV radiation is a very important part of your chameleons care, not only for their well being (UVA) but for their health (UVB). Panther Chameleons like most other living creatures need UV lighting. In the wild they would use the sun to give them UVB, in captivity we have to provide this by using specialised lighting. UVB radiation is used by the animal to synthesize vitamin D through their skin which is converted into D3, which in turn aids in the absorption of calcium and other vitamins and minerals. UVA is important for a general well feeling, you will find your animal is more inclined to mate, bask, eat, when it is provided. Being diurnal animals, panther chameleons need night and day. We should provide at least 12 hours of day light and 12 hours of darkness.
We provide this as two separate lamps for our animals which are always placed above the mesh hood . A florescent uv 5% or 6% tube and a thermostatically controlled spot lamp ensuring our chameleons have access to both. A uv reflector will optimize penetration as mesh can filter out essential rays.
If UV radiation isn’t provided you may quickly see health issues such as metabolic bone disease, animals that are not growing properly. Your animals will quickly become depressed and lack luster.
Heat is needed as an aid in helping the body synthesize D3 into the blood stream. As well as synthesizing D3, heat aids the digestive system into functioning correctly. This can be done by using a thermostatically controlled spot bulb set to reach optimum basking and ambient temperature for the species being kept.
UV radiation and heat work together, so should be provided in unison. When creating basking areas in captivity ensure UV exposure is present as in nature.
Mechanical timers These are an excellent way of providing constant day/night patterns. They are inexpensive and very beneficial to any reptile setup.
Chameleons are ectothermic animals and will sit and bask in the morning sun to raise their body temperature so as to function properly. Once warmed up they will start hunting for food or a suitable mate.
For more information visit www.uvguide.co.uk