We assessed the effects of body lipid content on the resting metabolic rate and specific dynamic action (SDA) of the southern catfish Silurus meridionalis. Obese and lean fish were obtained by feeding the fish with two different feeds at 27.5 degrees C for 4 weeks prior to the experiment. The fish were fed with experimental diets with a meal size of 4% by body mass. A continuous-flow respirometer was used to determine the oxygen consumption rate at 2-h intervals until the postprandial oxygen consumption rate had returned to the preprandial level. The body lipid content of the obese fish was significantly greater than that of the lean fish. The metabolic parameters evaluated (resting metabolic rate, peak metabolic rate (R(peak)), factorial ratio, time to peak, duration, energy expended on SDA (SDA(E)), or SDA coefficient) were not significantly affected by body fat content in terms of the whole-body or mass-specific values. Increased body fat content did not decrease the resting metabolic rate in the southern catfish, which might be due to the higher levels of highly unsaturated fatty acids in these fish. The results also suggest that the body composition does not appear to affect the SDA response.