Low Metabolic Rate in a Nocturnal Desert Lizard, Anarbylus switaki Murphy (Sauria: Gekkonidae)

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1. Metabolic rates were measured in two xeric-adapted gekkonid lizards, Anarbylus switaki and Coleonyx variegatus.

2. Standard metabolic rates (SMR) were 0.074 ml O2/g hr in A. switaki and were 70% of the value predicted on the basis of mass from regression equations. The SMR of 0.146ml O2/g hr in C. variegatusis similar to the predicted value for a lizard of this mass.

3. During intense activity, metabolic rates of 0.378 and 0.804ml O2/g hr were measured in A. switakiand C. variegatus, respectively.

4. Various theories to explain reduced SMR in lizards are discussed, and it is concluded that none is entirely satisfactory, and caution should be exercised in interpreting the adaptive significance of reduced SMR.