Amphibiansreptilesultraviolet light [3. Ferguson Zone 2]

Release time:2023-11-12
1. Theoretical basis of Ferguson Zone 2

The official name for the species in Ferguson 2 is "Incomplete/accidental sunbather". This shows that the species in this area either live in dense forests, and sunlight can only shine through the mottled gaps in the leaves; or, due to survival pressure, they appear in the early morning and evening, and can only receive greatly weakened ultraviolet rays. As a result, the area is still home to a lot of snakes - I know, "snake basking" is still controversial. I will explain this first below.

The snakes currently included in Ferguson Zone 2 are spotted star python, red-tailed anaconda, yellow-ringed wood snake, three-stringed golden snake, king snake, white-striped golden snake, black-browed golden snake, sharp-beaked snake, Texas rat snake, and western hognose. Snakes, rainbow anacondas, Mexican milk snakes, prairie king snakes, California king snakes, Mexican black king snakes, bull snakes, ball pythons, African rock pythons, garter snakes, leopard golden snakes and more...


It is estimated that many people will have this thought after seeing this list, "I see that many people raise xxx without turning on the lights and it will be fine." Yes, it's entirely possible. For Ferguson Zone 2 species, especially snakes, UV exposure may not be a top priority if their food already contains enough vitamin D. However, the Ferguson Zone exists to provide better welfare conditions for amphibians and reptiles. Therefore, "can live without xxx" is not what Ferguson District is solving, but "using xxx can make them live better." So would providing the right UV rays make these snakes more comfortable?


The most direct way to determine whether they need to bask in the sun is to thoroughly understand their behavior. Generally speaking, if the snake is active longer during the day, or has a certain degree of arborealism. If snakes are willing to spend a lot of time in ultraviolet irradiation areas in a space of choice, it is difficult to deny the positive significance of ultraviolet rays to them. This has to mention a very important book on snake behavior, "The Hunter in the Book" edited by Richard A. Sajdak, curator of reptiles at the Milwaukee Zoo in the United States. ——The arboreal life of snakes"


This book is published by KRIEGER Publishing House (to put it bluntly, this is an important professional amphibian publishing house in the United States). In addition to more than 20 years of experience in captive breeding, the author has also traveled to various parts of Central America for field investigations. Although his observations focused on New World snakes, that doesn't mean Old World snakes don't share these behaviors. He mentioned in the book that "snakes have far more arboreal behavior than humans thought before" and that some snakes that were thought to not often go up trees in the past "used radio technology to find that they spend quite a lot of time in trees." "Rat snakes have keel-like projections on their abdominal they can grip tree bark with their sides and abdomen."


After reading the entire book, you will definitely find that our understanding of snake behavior in the past was seriously insufficient. An increase in arboreal behavior often means more opportunities and time to receive sunlight. If they actually have these needs in the wild, they should be reproducible in captivity. However, due to the popularity of farm raising methods, many breeders have no chance to verify these behaviors even if they have raised them for many years. German zoos generally have this condition, allowing everyone to witness the reliability of the Ferguson District:

In earlier videos from the Frankfurt Zoo, this familiar ball python can often be seen basking in the morning sun


At the same time, some of the hognose snakes and landau reptiles raised here are very active during the day and will even occasionally climb trees just to receive sunlight.


In one of the best terrestrial pavilions in Germany, the Brehm Pavilion of the East Berlin Zoo, you can even find the jade-spotted snake basking in the sun on a tree more than two meters tall.


And the yellow-ringed forest snake, which is generally considered to be "purely nocturnal", often spends more than 6 hours under ultraviolet spotlights after 2 years of familiarity with the environment - but they are just sleeping on the tree (this kind of passive acceptance The method of sun exposure is similar to that of many arboreal geckos)


There are many, many similar examples. By improving the welfare of captives, researchers can avoid a lot of time and cost of observing in the wild and study their behavior in captivity; conservationists can save years of detours and avoid consuming too many wild individuals; ordinary enthusiasts can also gain More visual enjoyment, or the observation of important clues, contribute to the learning of two crawlers.


Europe and the United States, especially the United Kingdom and Germany, not only lament that they "can support anything." You should also know the feeding philosophy behind them and the results you get from them. It is these scientific research and conservation achievements that give local professional associations enough confidence to resist the offensive of extreme animal rights groups. Otherwise, for the public and the government, purely capitalistic reasons such as "the legalization of keeping reptiles is just to encourage more people to play with reptiles" and "raising more people can stimulate consumption" are simply untenable. If you want to win the recognition of the public and the government, or really make the public willing to understand amphibians and reptiles, you must not only have the former, but also be sufficiently convincing in terms of morality, scientific research significance, and cultural history.


With the exception of snakes, other species are far less controversial. We have compiled here some other species commonly found in Ferguson 2. But this does not mean that there are only these species in Zone 2, but the species that have been investigated so far are limited, so there may be many more species in Zone 2 than we think:


2. Species List of Ferguson Zone 2


Four-horned Chameleon, Jackson's Chameleon, Miller's Chameleon, Green Anole, Jamaican Anole

Blue tongue skink, pinecone skink, flame skink, peach tongue skink, monkey tail skink, Peruvian crocodile lizard

Bell's crowned lizard, Fiji iguana, double-crested lizard, Chinese water dragon, Australian water dragon

Ili sand tiger, crocodile gecko, giant gecko, Gaigea gecko, indigo sun-walking gecko, fat-tailed gecko... …



Box turtles, musk turtles, razor egg turtles, oil painted wood turtles, small snapping turtles, slide turtles (Chinese soft-shell turtles may also belong to this area)

Burmese tortoise, red-legged tortoise, yellow-legged tortoise... …



Spot-legged tree frog, yellow-striped poison dart frog, golden poison dart frog, mysterious poison dart frog, old tree frog, cane toad... ...


3. Arrangement plan of captive lighting fixtures

Species in Ferguson Zone 2 still have low UV requirements, and some species can even take vitamin D completely orally, or take low doses of vitamin D orally to meet the lack of ultraviolet exposure. We recommend that, where possible, animals should be provided with enough space and UV exposure to allow them to choose a suitable location.

Theoretically, both high-radiation and low-radiation ultraviolet rays can provide adjustment distance and usage time to reduce ultraviolet levels: for example, UVB 10.0 26W at a distance of 40cm may provide a similar amount of UVB radiation to UVB 5.0 13W at 20cm; or high Radiation lamps may degrade into low-radiation lamps after being used for more than thousands of hours. If both Ferguson Zone 3 and Zone 2 species are kept together, then lamps used by the Zone 3 species may be used for daily lighting by the Zone 2 species. However, in these two cases, a UVI/UVB tester is required to adjust the distance of use, and zone 3 species are required to "play the vanguard". If you do not meet these conditions, a more direct configuration solution is recommended below:

Lamp matching reference

T5 UVB lamp/UVB energy-saving lamp:

UVB content 5.0; if the cabinet height is less than 40cm, choose 8-13W, if the cabinet height is over 40cm, choose 26W+

UVA/low wattage solar lamp: Choose 30-50W when the cabinet height is less than 40cm, and choose 50W+ when the cabinet height exceeds 40cm. Specific wattage needs to be further adjusted based on actual temperature and species needs

Other optional lamps: The specific wattage of LED lighting depends on the ambient brightness. If it is a species that is active during the day, it is recommended to use a lamp above 15W to increase the brightness. The larger the species and the larger the environment, the higher the wattage required


Long box:

Lamps: UVB T5 lamp/UVB energy-saving lamp (5.0 wattage selected according to actual height), natural light (optimal)/LED (optional) UVA/low wattage solar lamp (available for lizards and turtles) Adequate daytime heat and meet visual needs)

Heating: heating pad (only small for local use), ceramic heating lamp (protective measures required), infrared heating lamp (protective measures required)


High box:

Lamps: UVB energy-saving lamps (5.0 wattage selected according to actual height), natural light (optimal)/LED (optional)

Heating: heating pad (local only), ceramic heating lamp (protective measures required), infrared heating lamp (protective measures required)



1. Since some species in Ferguson Zone 2 are exposed to ultraviolet light for a short time, UVB lamps can only be turned on for 1-2 hours in the early morning and evening every day.

2. UVA lights can be turned on for a long time as daytime lighting and heating, which is crucial for iguanas and turtles. However, if the natural light in the cylinder is insufficient, it is recommended to configure LED to increase the brightness.

3. The duration of the sun lamp should be selected according to the needs of the species. For zone 2 species, 0.5-3 hours/day is enough

4. The purpose of heating equipment is to ensure the basic temperature for the normal life of animals. If the day and night temperature of a certain species is 22-32°C, then the heating equipment only needs to allow the ambient temperature to reach 22-25°C. The high temperature of 28-32°C should be controlled by natural light/UVA lamps/sunlights during the day. accomplish. This can create a reasonable temperature difference between day and night

5. If you are raising woodland Ferguson zone 2 species in high boxes, you need to provide higher wattage lamps to provide longer radiation distance. And it needs to be equipped with a shield to weaken the ultraviolet rays. Such as poison dart frogs, small iguanas, etc.

6. The "optional" lamps mentioned above need to be matched according to the types of animals and plants raised.

7. Any UVB lamp at a very close distance will emit UVB far beyond the needs of animals, which will cause hidden dangers to health. Be careful not to place the lamp head too close to animals.

In the next issue, we will explain in detail the lighting configuration of species in Ferguson Zone 3. Here are the bearded dragon lizards and sulcatas you are most familiar with, remember to pay attention!