Pygmy chameleons vs. UVB

aeolis23

Member
I keep hearing different opinions about pygmy chameleons and the necessity of providing them UVB. Some say yes, others say no. So I'm asking it again: Tell me a clear YES or NO and explain to me why. :)

Any scientific proof to state your opinion would be highly appreciated!
 

Veild Cham Owner

Established Member
i would say yes. almost every chameleons needs UVB light someway. Mine has a heat lamp (which does not provide it) and another light specifically for UVB and of course his night light
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
There's no scientific evidence that I know of unfortunately. There is very little literature on chameleons in general because of lack of funding and interest (by institutions that can fund the research, not necessarily by everyone) in more obscure species especially. Pygmies seem to do fine without UVB but I have seen MBD in a baby even with calcium supplementation. As a species that lives primarily in undergrowth of forests they are exposed to less UVB from sun than normal. So what is usually recommended and has worked for several generations of brevs in my experience is low level UVB.
 

Veild Cham Owner

Established Member
There's no scientific evidence that I know of unfortunately. There is very little literature on chameleons in general because of lack of funding and interest (by institutions that can fund the research, not necessarily by everyone) in more obscure species especially. Pygmies seem to do fine without UVB but I have seen MBD in a baby even with calcium supplementation. As a species that lives primarily in undergrowth of forests they are exposed to less UVB from sun than normal. So what is usually recommended and has worked for several generations of brevs in my experience is low level UVB.
im not quite sure, i dont know much about pygmies but i would call a vet maybe and ask them just to make sure.
 

Alexander1

Avid Member
Generally in keeping chameleon or other reptile, you get best results from recreating their normal natural habitat, which will always in some degree include exposure to the sun therefore in my opinion it is almost automatically includes some degree of uvb, the amount will depend on the species and where in the natural habitat it dwells, it may only need a little but it will almost always benefit from uvb exposure.
 

Angelwolf

Chameleon Enthusiast
Why not just heir on the side of caution and give it to them, regardless. Can a florescent light really do any damage?
 

Extensionofgreen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Since term "Pygmy" encompasses more than one genus and more than one habitat, I think it is in error to generalize all species as having the same requirements. The fact is that sunlight forms small patches of light for basking and UVB, even in the most dense of forest and Pygmy chameleons would certainly be capable of utilizing these areas. Animals that are active during the day are used to UVB as part of their visible light spectrum and even if they don't utilize it exclusively for calcium synthesis, it may benifit them in other ways, such as allowing them to see colors the way they would in nature and by being stimulated in other ways by cues they get from a natural lighting spectrum. They certainly will not be harmed by utilizing appropriate UVB bulbs for their enclosure and there can only be benifits, unless UVB is overdone. Not providing UVB leaves it up to you to guess at how much supplementation with D3 is needed by such a tiny animal and how well their bodies metabolize the D3 as an ingested vitamin, rather than made naturally, through UVB interacting the skin.
People have bred and raised veileds without UVB, and I'm sure other reptiles that we have come to believe require it. The fact is that replicating nature in some fashion is going to give the most consistent results and that means providing UVB for your chameleons.
 

NickTide

Avid Member
Years ago it was questionable if veildes, Jacksons, etc. needed UV because they have thick skin and lived under a canopy in the wild. Now it's laughable to think they don't need it. In a few years we may find out the same thing about pygmies.
 
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