Emergence, basking behaviour, mean selected temperature and critical thermal minimum in high and low altitude subspecies of the tropical lizard Mabuya striata



    1. Department of Biology, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, PO Box 280, Zomba, Malawi
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    • †Dr Patterson died in July 1991. Reprint requests should be sent to Professor J. P. Loveridge, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, PO Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe.


Emergence, basking behaviour, selected temperature, and critical thermal minimum were studied in warm and cold acclimated groups of two subspecies of the lizard Mabuya striata. The high-altitude M. s. punctatissima emerges earlier than the low-altitude M. s. striata. Under conditions of warm acclimation, M. s. punctatissima has a longer initial bask. The two subspecies do not differ in either mean selected temperature or critical thermal minimum, although in both cases values for cold acclimated lizards are lower than for warm acclimated lizards. I have previously demonstrated differences between the subspecies in the pattern of thermal acclimation of rate of oxygen consumption. I thus consider that M. striata is static in some aspects of its thermal biology but labile in others.