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Short Notes Seasonal water loss of the lizard Lophognathus temporalis in

Summary: Short Notes
Seasonal water loss of the lizard Lophognathus temporalis in
the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia
Sean J. Blamires, Keith A. Christian
Faculty of Science, Northern Territory University, Darwin, Northern Territory 0909, Australia
Evaporative water loss (EWL) occurs principally across the skin (cutaneous water loss,
CWL) of terrestrial reptiles (Shoemaker and Nagy, 1977; Mautz, 1982), but EWL also
occurs across respiratory passages (respiratory water loss) and the eyes (ocular water loss)
(Mautz, 1982). Over 70% of EWL in agamid lizards is from CWL (Eynan and Dmi'el,
1993). The factors determining the rate of CWL are skin resistance (Davis et al., 1980) and
vapour density difference between the epidermis and the surrounding atmosphere (Zucker,
1980). Vapour density difference increases with increasing environmental temperature and
wind speed and decreasing humidity and size of the animal (Davis et al., 1980). Respiratory
water loss increases with aridity of habitat in agamid lizards (Leclaire, 1978). Ocular water
loss may be a signi cant component of water loss where no signi cant barrier, such as
transparent, spectacled eye-lids, exists (Mautz, 1982).
Reptiles inhabiting extremely desiccating environments, such as deserts, require excep-
tionally ef cient water preserving mechanisms. CWL is usually relatively low in reptiles
of such environments (Shoemaker and Nagy, 1977). Some lizards may have physiological
adaptations to control CWL as they become dehydrated (Kobayashi et al., 1983; Dmi'el


Source: Arnold, Stevan J. - Department of Zoology, Oregon State University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology