While redfoot tortoises living naturally in a wild setting do not “bask,” per se, they will emerge into pockets of sunlight as is needed or safe in order to absorb heat as well as UVA/B light.
- “Basking” Spot: 90 to 92°F (32-33°C)
In a captive setting, providing one area where the heat is particularly plentiful can help your tortoise self-regulate body temperature much more easily.
- Daytime Temperature: 80-92°F (27-33°C)
- Nighttime Temperature: 65-75°F (18-23°C) lower range for adults, a bit higher for hatchlings.
Redfoot tortoises are tropical species. They do not hibernate, although they will slow down metabolically and behaviorally if temperatures inside their habitat drop too low. It is vitally important for hatchling and juvenile redfoots to have consistent warmth, especially at night!
Depending on what your local climate and home setup is like and the age of your tortoise, you may also need an additional heat bulb for night-time use. A ceramic heat bulb in a proper reflective hood is a good choice.
Careful and constant monitoring of temperature and heat is essential to make sure your redfoot can self-regulate – but you also need to make sure no area inside the habitat gets too warm or too cool. This is especially vital for hatchlings, because they are so young and small that overheating or over-cooling can happen so quickly.
In the next section in this lesson, we share our favorite heat bulbs and temperature regulation/monitoring products.