The availability of a gynogenetic isogenic homozygous diploid clonal strain (C) of the zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio), combined with the small adult body size of the species, made possible a study of the following two questions. (1) Is the genetic uniformity of a group of fish reflected in decreased variability of features of organismic performance physiology? (2) Is the metabolic cost of subcarangiform swimming significantly different in small fishes compared with large ones? Wild-type (WT) and C strain zebrafish maintained at 28 °C can all swim very rapidly [up to relative swimming speeds of 13 body lengths s-1 (BL s-1)] for extended periods (at least 2 h) without visibly tiring. Oxygen consumption rates were measured for both types at swimming speeds of 1.5­13 BL s-1. Whole-body lactate concentrations were also measured during routine activity and after prolonged exercise for both fish types. The slopes of the linear regressions between the logarithm of mass-specific oxygen consumption rates and relative swimming speeds for WT zebrafish were low (0.010­0.024) and were not significantly different from zero. Regression slopes were also low (0.009­0.026), but different from zero, for C zebrafish. Standard metabolic rates were 0.60­1.54 and 0.40­0.85 ml O2 g-1 h-1 for WT and C zebrafish respectively. Variances of slopes were significantly larger for WT than for C fish. Whole-body lactate concentrations and their variances were not significantly different between types and between rested and exercised fishes. The results demonstrate unusual swimming performance capacities, a remarkably low cost of swimming and some reductions in variability of C fish. Several possible explanations for the results are discussed.

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