Snakes need sunlight to maintain their health. In this article, we have added the advantages of sunlight for snakes.
Do Snakes Need Sunlight? Snakes need sunlight to maintain their sleep cycle, reduce the possibility of stress, and increase the immune system’s strength. Snakes need 5 to 6 hours of sunlight daily.
Sunlight can keep them healthy for a long time. It also provides sufficient vitamin D. It keeps them happy and in a good mood.
Do Snakes Need Sunlight?
Snakes need sunlight to keep the standard temperature of their body. The rays coming from the sun contain many vitamins essential for their proper growth. In this regard, the position of the tank matters a lot.
You cannot place the tank in a dark room where no sunlight can enter. On the other hand, placing the tank in sunlight can have its benefits. You can never put the vivarium in the window, otherwise, snakes can cough and sneeze.
Direct sunlight may burn their skin and cause damage to internal organs as well. The light coming from the sun to the room is sufficient enough for their body. They do not need extra rays from the sun.
The snakes are sensitive to excessive light. Their body cannot tolerate large packets of light. You can put the vivarium in such a way that the rays will fall on its one half, while the other half should remain cold.
Snakes cannot survive under excessive heat; they need to cool their body as well. It will serve the purpose. Whenever their body absorbs too much heat, their skin color gets dark, and they move to a colder area. There, they drop their body temperatures.
Keep a proper check of the temperature levels in the vivarium. You can use a digital thermometer to automatically calculate the amount of heat coming from the sun and keep the temperature typical.
You can also cover the enclosure’s colder side with a plastic sheet so that no sunlight can pass through it. You can use the white color of plastic as it is not a good conductor. It does not allow more heat to pass through it.
If you do not have sufficient rays in the room, then you can use a black colored plastic sheet on the hotter area. As black color is a good conductor of heat, it will keep it warm for a long time.
A wooden enclosure will not allow any heat or light to pass through it. It cannot survive in such conditions. Similarly, a plastic aquarium will slip half the sunlight.
You can use a glass vivarium for this purpose. It will allow all the rays to pass through it. A large-sized tank means it will take longer to get hot. On the other hand, a smaller vivarium will need less light and warmth in no time.
Day Cycle of Snakes
Keeping them in light continuously for 24 hours can have severe effects on its skin. They have small eyes, which are light sensitive. They need a daily cycle of light for 12 hours for their proper nourishment.
They usually do not sleep during day time. Their body is adaptive to new changes. They can survive under certain conditions without light. If you think that there is not enough light coming, then you can also use a heat lamp in the tank. It will complete the day cycle.
Disturbance in the day cycle may stress them out. They may lose their mind and will start attacking fellow snakes in the vivarium.
Its mood changes in no time. If they stress out, then you will not be able to prevent them from attacking each other. You should take care of their needs and provide them with proper conditions.
As day cycles are crucial for their growth similarly, night cycles are also very essential for them. There must be a night cycle of 12 hours.
In this cycle, they complete their sleep. You can never disturb them in their sleep. If a snake cannot get proper sleep, then they may stop eating.
They will remain hungry for a long time, and it will affect their metabolism. This condition may lead to death. Try to maintain sufficient temperature in the enclosure at night.
They have a very long sleeping cycle. It can sleep for many hours, then wake up. They wander here and there for some time. After that, they sit in the heat for a while, and then again move to their sleeping place.
They can sleep for more than 19 to 20 hours. It all depends on the conditions provided. They sleep, take rest, and doing so can preserve their energy.
If you keep the vivarium in a room where light remains ON for 24 hours, you can either shift the tank to some other room or place a black sheet on it. However, they like to drink tap water.
In this way, they can sleep properly. Similarly, avoid using loud music in such a room where you keep them. They can listen to particular frequencies of sound. Continuous vibrations coming from loud bask music can affect them severely.
They will form a circle and place their head in between while sleeping. They do not move their body and remain in one position for long.
You can never tell whether they are sleeping or not just by looking at their eyes. It is because their eyes mostly remain open when they are sleeping. It is the body moment that shows whether they are asleep or not.
Sunlight helps snakes to digest food
A proper amount of heat is not necessarily essential for the digestion of food. There is a little heat factor that helps in digestion, but excessive heat does not help absorb food. The heating of the enclosure keeps them warm.
When snakes get cold, they bask in the sunlight. They bask for a long time and absorb sufficient heat. After that, they move to the shadowy area, and with the energy consumed, they keep themselves warm for long.
The basic concept of basking is to keep themselves warm. Its body organs are powerful enough to digest any style of food without the help of heat. You can feed a dead mouse to pet snakes.
Their metabolism system does not require any extra heat. Too much heat can cause damage to their neurons, and in the end, they die. If it gets too hot and there is no place to cool themselves, they can wrap themselves around the bowl and release some heat.
Another symptom that they are not able to release heat is that they move aggressively. You should remember these symptoms, and whenever you notice such symptoms in them, you should take proper measurements.
You can place stones in the enclosure. The light from the sun will heat these stones, and they will warm themselves. They will feel happy. They can store heat and make their skin dark.
Effects of UV Radiations on Snakes
Most of the snakes require a minor quantity of UV radiation for the proper working of their body parts. You can use a heat lamp for snakes.
Sun emits UVB rays that have a very high frequency. Prolong exposure to these radiations is harmful.
These radiations have a very short wavelength. If the skin remains in contact with UVB for long, then it may cause skin burns. UVB passes directly through the skin. It affects the DNA severely so that you can keep pythons in the tubs.
How much sunlight snakes need daily?
In summers, snakes usually do not need that much sunlight as compared to in winters. It varies with their age as well. In summers, they need approximately 7 to 9 hours or 400 to 600 minutes of light daily for their proper growth.
This amount of light gives them the required heat and keeps their metabolism running. On the other hand, in winters, the body needs more heat than usual. They require a total of 9 to 11 hours or 550 to 700 minutes of light daily.
Similarly, if there is very little sunlight in your area, then you can place heat-absorbing stones in the vivarium. They will keep the environment warm; you can give them a bath regularly.
Is Sunlight harmful to Snakes?
There are certain disadvantages to these rays. Excessive heat increases anxiety and stress. It slows down the digestive system, and it will not be able to digest food properly.
They usually do not drink water at regular intervals, but prolonged exposure to sunlight may cause a water shortage. It also damages the cells of the skin. It changes the color of the skin.