Is a bright light required over the basking surface?

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
kingofnobbys":s44skxzq said:
They position themselves so the parietal eye is facing towards the source of light and IR flux.

I was looking at a photo of Darwin basking that is sitting on my desk. It appears that he is keeping his head straight up while flattening and tilting his body toward the source of the heat/light (window). I'd like to observe further and see if this is the common form. If so, the parietal eye isn't tilting toward the source but perhaps it's directing the body to move in a certain way. Or the basking behavior is dictated by sensors within their skin.


Drache613 Sicko
Staff member

I agree, I do not have documentation on hand, but have always observed our dragons'
behavior with lighting, etc. They really do enjoy bright white light over them & it does
help protect their eyes from the UVB lighting also.
The sunshine is a perfect UVB:UVI ratio which has the ideal lighting we should all strive
for. LOL Easier said than done though I know.


Claudiusx Sicko
Staff member
Original Poster
Oh I agree in that sense, but I'm more leaning towards questions for experiment sake.

For instance, if a full spectrum bright light was used alongside the uvb, that would be what is protecting their eyes and causing them to dilate. The whole tank would be brightly lit so there is no lack of light. The only thing different is there isnt a beam of light+heat, only a beam of heat, with the lighting coming from the other bulbs in the tank.

It's something I'm going to experiment with just so we can see exactly what they choose.

I'll go over how I'm planning to set up my experiments hopefully tonight or tomorrow, and everyone can make comments or suggestions on the methods I will be using to test.

To clarify here will be the questions of the experiment:

Will a dragon choose a bright cold beam to bask in over a dark warm beam?
Will a dragon choose a bright cold beam to bask in over a brightly lit (no direct light beam) warm beam?
If the dragons constantly choose to bask in the cold bright beam, it can be inferred that they choose to seek out a bright beam for heat as opposed to actually seeking out a heat source.

If the dragons constantly pick the latter, we can infer that they are able to sense heat, and that's how they choose to bask, despite light levels.

Depending on the results of those tests, it will be taken a step further.

A setup with a bright uvb bulb providing light to the entire enclosure. One end has a traditional basking style bulb that emits little to not heat. The other side has a non light emitting bulb that produces proper temps. If they constantly choose to bask under the warm no light beam, we can further infer that a beam of light means nothing to them when general lighting is provided throughout the tank.

It can then so be taken a bit further than that. Angling the beams and seeing how they orientate themselves. If they constantly orientate themselves with the back facing towards the beam, we can set up an experiment where a bright bulb is shinning at one angle, and a non light emitting heat bulb is shined down at a perpendicular angle. This is one of the more interesting tests to me because if the dragons choose to face the light, with their backs towards the non light heat source, we know that they orientate themselves away from the heat source, not the light source, so that the bodies can better absorb the heat.

Anyways, pardon that mess of text I'm at work and on mobile so I'm sure it's a bit run on and typo filled lol. Will be cleaning it up with another thread in the next day or two.

Looking forward to trying these experiments so we can get a better understanding hopefully of how the react to certain stimuli. or at least so I can get a better understanding.


Claudiusx Sicko
Staff member
Original Poster
Dachiu on occasion doesn't even use a basking bulb. Simply just the fluorescent uvb bulb.
In the summer we never turn on the heat (cfl) bulbs, and only use the florescent lights.

Of course, they have a huge dragon room with proper temperatures already in the room, but still, the dragons live under general lighting, not basking beams.
Our adult breeders are housed in 4×2 by 12 inch high cages with 2 18 watt florescent bulbs mounted towards the back of the cage. One bulb is a 5.0 for UVB and one is a 2.0 with a high CRI which improves the overall light quality.

I'm not saying I 100% think this is best practice, but clearly they are doing something right (or at least OK) to have been so successful for as long as they have been.


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