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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 10:39 am 
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John Vanek wrote:
Herps may be basking under non-heat UV bulbs simply because in nature, UV, visible light, and heat are highly correlated, and they may not have the ability to identify these diffferent features.

Even the ability to sense UV at all is an unusual capability. Nor is UV, visible light, and heat significantly correlated. At night you can have significant infrared (heat), on the opposite end of the visible spectrum from UV, with no UV whatsoever. Even broad daylight can vary greatly in UV, independently from infrared and light intensity in general. To mistake a UV source as heat could be disastrous for a snake, lacks a sufficient correlation and requires completely independent sensory parts, and even organs, from heat or infrared for it to make any evolutionary sense at all.

For a snake to actively seek UV pretty much requires some form of functional self regulation requiring UV itself. However, to establish this is what's occurring requires a lot of different variables to be controlled for. Not all of which I am convinced were completely controlled for under the conditions in which they were reported. I hope that will improve as I know it can.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 12:27 pm 
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I know birds can see UV, has anyone tested whether any herps can?


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 12:45 pm 
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Yes. Most diurnal lizards can.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 4:07 pm 
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Cole Grover wrote:
Yes. Most diurnal lizards can.


That's fascinating. Know of any papers off hand?


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 7:23 pm 
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John Vanek wrote:
Herps may be basking under non-heat UV bulbs simply because in nature, UV, visible light, and heat are highly correlated, and they may not have the ability to identify these diffferent features.



This isnt rational IMO.

uv spectrum are integrated in daylight. Why polarize in thought what is not so on earth?

Simply because?

That saurian vision can see well into the uv range is fairly well known. To be surprised at this makes your above statement seem especially specious.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 8:08 pm 
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John Vanek wrote:
I know birds can see UV, has anyone tested whether any herps can?

I linked a study on page #2 showing ball pythons can see UV.
THE PHOTORECEPTORS AND VISUAL PIGMENTS IN THE RETINA OF A BOID SNAKE, THE BALL PYTHON (PYTHON REGIUS)
Sillman et al. (1997) provided the first evidence of the retinal sensitivity to UV in (T. sirtalis and T. marcianus) snakes. In a general sense this kind of sensitivity bodes well for Kelly's assumptions. This kind of capability is certainly not just some kind of evolutionary accident. It must have a functional basis.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 8:11 pm 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
John Vanek wrote:
Herps may be basking under non-heat UV bulbs simply because in nature, UV, visible light, and heat are highly correlated, and they may not have the ability to identify these diffferent features.



This isnt rational IMO.

uv spectrum are integrated in daylight. Why polarize in thought what is not so on earth?

Simply because?

That saurian vision can see well into the uv range is fairly well known. To be surprised at this makes your above statement seem especially specious.


What?


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 8:12 pm 
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mywan wrote:
John Vanek wrote:
I know birds can see UV, has anyone tested whether any herps can?

I linked a study on page #2 showing ball pythons can see UV.
THE PHOTORECEPTORS AND VISUAL PIGMENTS IN THE RETINA OF A BOID SNAKE, THE BALL PYTHON (PYTHON REGIUS)
Sillman et al. (1997) provided the first evidence of the retinal sensitivity to UV in (T. sirtalis and T. marcianus) snakes. In a general sense this kind of sensitivity bodes well for Kelly's assumptions. This kind of capability is certainly not just some kind of evolutionary accident. It must have a functional basis.


Very cool, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 8:56 pm 
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Mywan I saw an abstract on caudal photoreptors of sea snakes. I wonder if there has been any investigation of dermal photoreceptivity in other snakes.

Often I have seen my specimens expose a significant loop/s of themselves under direct uvb light while still remaining hidden anteriorly. The corns do this and so does the multifasciata. The MBK is more of a wholesale basker - but he is exuberant in all ways.

A general note - yesterday was a very active day with significant time under light in seperate periods. Today there was little activity and minimal basking. None at all for the MBK,he stayed in his den retreat and only late afternoon briefly for the female corn. That seems to be the loose pattern. Strong activity for a day (or two, hence 'loose') followed by in-den repose the next day.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 11th, 2013, 12:38 am 
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Photosensitivity seems to be a basal trait shared by even earths most primitive organisms.

How fossorial would an organism have to become to lose such archaic pathways? Is it too narrow a perspective to attach the capacity to derive d3 from the diet to a loss of such universial older capacities? These are some of the questions i have.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: March 11th, 2013, 11:36 am 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
Photosensitivity seems to be a basal trait shared by even earths most primitive organisms.

How fossorial would an organism have to become to lose such archaic pathways?

In general, from a genetics perspective, what tends to happen is that the genes responsible remain but become functionally degraded when no functional survival advantage remains. So long as some minimal functional advantage remains these traits tend to be conserved. The more pronounced the survival advantage the more strongly the genes responsible are conserved.

The problem is that you can't necessarily apply what happens to one fossorial species to all fossorial species. Even in the case were the assumption holds that a steady captive diet obviates any need of UV for D3 production doesn't mean the same specimen in the wild would feed consistently enough to completely remove the functional advantage of UV induced D3 production. Even fossorial geckos have been shown to maximize their photobiosynthesis of B3 with minimal light, so functional advantages can, in some cases, remain even for fossorial species.
http://www.reptileuvinfo.com/docs/vitam ... -spiny.pdf

Kelly Mc wrote:
Is it too narrow a perspective to attach the capacity to derive d3 from the diet to a loss of such universial older capacities?

In general, it is too narrow a perspective, as illustrated by photobiosynthesis of B3 nocturnal geckos. This kind of thing has to be reviewed on a case by case, species by species, basis. Just because it is found that a particular species of nocturnal snake maintains (or not) a functional advantage for photobiosynthesis of B3 doesn't mean the same would apply to even a close fossorial relative. We simply can't generalize too much simply on the basis of a fossorial status. All we can do is investigate individual species and prevalences, and try to experimentally test whether a specimen's health is well served by a consistent diet alone.

Obviously captive conditions in most cases better serve their health overall, compared to wild conditions, but in some cases better knowledge would likely be a significant improvement. At present we can only make presumptions about the pros and cons, which are almost certainly valid in some cases but may not be in other cases. We simply don't know enough.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: October 26th, 2013, 10:17 pm 
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Quote:


What you should notice here is that regular incandescent bulbs are heavily weighted toward the infrared end of the spectrum, with so little UVA as the be irrelevant, and nothing in UVB and below. UV spectrum lighting will not provide any effective thermal heating. Infrared will. Incandescent bulbs are heavily biased in infrared, thus can provide effective basking heat, but are for practical purposes devoid of UV spectrum light.



Actually although not apparent on the packaging of hardware/generic type incandescent bulbs, one can easily see on major brand reptile incandescent basking spots, like the highly credible zoo med, the fact that UVA is produced by the basking lamps is clearly presented.

But there are some interesting materials I have run across, and more personal documentation acquired with my own animals since we touched on this subject. The topic of photobiology is interesting. Its relevance interesting to ponder.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 1:49 am 
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All through these past couple years Ive continued to include uvb in the daycycle for some snakes, some frogs and some other animals like R. ciliatus (ie; cryptic, and/or with strong nocturnal patterns) from neo to adulthood, like my personal animals, and some, like the cresteds, also with uvb since hatch but I take care of for the place I work, which the room is under reconstruction for the floor and some other changes to the space so ive kept the collection stat, with fewer animals - most long term ambassadorial subjects to help display equipment set up and environment types. So I see these guys every day and tend.

For many years Ive used UVB lighting with most taxa that many don't, but since this thread and discussion have wanted to break through the observational for however long term can be debated as anecdotal, into an actual study. I have a radiometer, and tools to control and measure distances and temperature in exacting form.

I would like to have veterinary input in measuring plasma D3 levels, obstacles being cost, and I must admit a reluctance to have some of my most closely observed subjects, which are personal animals, removed from their environments and stressed per procedure.

But I have some other plans including separating hatchling corns into two groups when they hatch (accidental clutch from very young female)

Besides the above there are some behavioral samples observed of various taxa, and photos but I wont go into these unless prompted, here or through PM.

So that's where I'm at right now with this subject.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 7:59 am 

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I have been lurking here and many of you have brought up thought provoking points. Amusing to me are folks thinking it is simple, others convinced it is complicated...are you both correct? It seems someone would have performed a valid experiment, which would provide some evidence in at least that specific species...Yes?

Years ago I remember Green Tree python breeders creating two identical cages, with the same interior design etc. The cages were connected with a piece of plastic pipe, barred by a sliding door in each cage or a plug in the pipe. The pipe could be opened by the manipulative keeper, and the pythons allowed to access the other cage if they so desired. This was thought to be a good way to allow them a choice of introduction time, make nuptial overtures, etc. It allowed retreat if incompatibility etc. It was an effort to get the at the time difficult to breed captive snakes to breed. It seems like a similar set up could be done, with the only known variable being the presence of UVB or various special wave length lighting you choose to experiment with. IF snakes need/seek UVB, THEN they likely would spend time in the cage offering the same? It would be better to have multiple trials with various taxa and specimens to eliminate variables and look for correlations. Of course this would not necessarily apply to other taxa, and the results might indeed be inconclusive, with successful breeding or lack of in control groups. It might be done with both pairs and singles, as that variable might influence behavior, and as Kelly points out, breeding does not necessarily equate with superior husbandry.

Chris's suggestions to use frogs might be a better one, as it would give large numbers and therefore more likely reasonable conclusions, less room required etc. Perhaps one of the companies involved, ZooMed or someone should do it, as they would have $ incentive if the evidence supported using UVB lights, as they are typically interested in expanding the market for bulbs.

I too sometimes anthropomorphize, and think what can I do to make captive life more stimulating for my snakes. One thing I do, simply on the theory that it might provide enrichment to these large and active captive snakes is get them outside, perhaps 4-5X/Week in the southern Arizona sunshine, year around. My Eastern Indigos often choose to bask in it, other times they just crawl around investigating the environment. This includes feeding, combating males, defecating, soaking and drinking from hose or shallow puddles, etc. This adds up to a fair amount of direct sun exposure over a years time.

I have enjoyed modest success breeding them, and some folks think it is because of this outdoor exposure and variable diet. I do not make that conclusion, I provide the outdoor option in hopes it improves the quality of life. Success is often predicated on the totality of the husbandry, usually not on just one thing. However, there are indeed breakthroughs in herpetoculture that make huge differences in success. I do know my indigos seemingly glow with health, they do not suffer dystocia as in the past, they seemingly enjoy basking in the sun (Yes, I know it could be seeking warmth vs. UVB or both). There are many benefits, but whether UVB exposure is one of them I do not know. I did the same back when I raised Boa constrictors.

A curious thing that Heloderma breeders may comment on: it is commonly said that normally docile/tractible Helodermas may become excitable, defensive, snappy monsters when placed outside in the sun for relatively short time periods. Why? Is this related to UVB exposure? Gila monsters are famous for utilizing burrows and shelters, only spending a small percentage of their time on the surface by day, usually related to feeding, breeding in the spring. They eat similar to snakes, small live prey, birds and mammals, eggs, and perhaps lizards. One might theorize they don't need UVB exposure, but it is interesting why they seemingly react so dramatically to sunshine...who knows, maybe they don't like it?

Opportunity knocks, perhaps one of you DVM's or scientists with Doctorate's would have the credibility to get funding from a bulb manufacturer and do some controlled experiments? Kelly, you clearly have interest and opinions that could lead to hypothesis to test, so maybe you could do it? But funding would make it better...

BTW, Chris's suggestion about Science Fair might be a good one, although I encountered prohibitions against using animals in some communities due to animal welfare influence/concerns.

Let us know if you learn more about this, we all should strive to constantly improve our husbandry and understanding. This seems basic, yet we do not know. (Back in the '60's we were happy if we could determine the sex of our animals...)


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 12:15 pm 
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Hiya Vic, its always a pleasure to read your input on any topic and I appreciate your taking the time to share here on this one.

A key point in your post that glints to me is volitional impetus and how sunlight and the 290 - 320 nm wavelength is another element of an environment - not a focus but another resource integrated with factors of cover, gradients, time cycles and again - an animals own volitional impetus.

But Ive got to say that the activities of your Indigos as you've described were a treat. How magnificent to see.

Nuptial Overtures! ~*~


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: May 5th, 2015, 2:00 pm 
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Out of curiousity I just googled Volitional Impetus and unbeknownst to me it is in usage in terminology that is unrelated to how I happened to use it - as a simple combination of two words.

Volitional - meaning an animal moving or positioning of its own accord, in response to a physiological impetus or behavioral pattern.

I really want to clarify that. thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: May 6th, 2015, 9:25 am 
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When applying light on an env that includes uvb - which is what it is - its part of the lights index, its not actually a 'UVB light'. UVA is always in broader index of the bulbs that are used for reptile (and bird) husbandry.. Its not as simple as just laying a fixture on the top of the cage.

The comment that was made by a poster stating that - Even the ability to sense uv at all is an unusual capacity - is in conflict with every source of material I have researched on the subject, and as humans with our puny box of color opsins compared to other organisms I sometimes wonder how that may nfluence our aknowlegement of its presence and perception by other organisms which have evolved on a solar centric planet, with protections and functions of its interactions myriad, yet universial.

What I have observed since the beginning, are signs of increased visual acuity and I strongly, strongly, suspect dermal detection of light wavelengths.

Acuity can mean hypervigilence - and strategic dialing in of physical exposure to sunlight, its not a "health ray aid" one size fits all thing.

But used in the composition of an environment some interesting things can be observed, but, that also depends I guess on what a person thinks is interesting lol


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2015, 8:19 am 
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Have you ever noticed snakes outside in undisturbed forage or on the crawl, how threading along will be punctuated by a focused darting of the head like the needle of a dial? The motion is elegant and liquid, sniperish. Have you ever noticed you don't see that in captive snakes in enclosure?

You do when they have uvb.


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 Post subject: Re: UVB for Snakes?
PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 9:04 am 
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I thought I would bump this, in light of some recent commentary as its an interesting focus in snake herpetoculture.


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