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Barbels in the mud whip ( Misgurnus fossilis )

Barbels or barbs are thread-like skin organs at the mouth area for many fish species. They have taste buds and corpuscles. Cartilage , elastic fibers and muscles are mostly contained in its longitudinal axis . They serve as organs of touch and taste . Bartel-bearing fish groups are z. B. the catfish , nurse sharks , loaches , carp-like and cod-like .

Barbels are divided into:

  • Barbels in the mouth
  • Barbels on the chin
  • Barbels on the nose


The bonytongues Scleropages formosus has short chin barbels

The number is very different from species to species and can vary between one barbels in the burbot and up to ten barbels such as the mud whip. In the Atlantic goatee flying fish, the young grow a pair of short barbels on their chins after hatching.


  • Doris Freudig, Rolf Sauermost (Red.): Lexicon of Biology . 2nd volume. Spectrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 3-8274-0327-8 .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Bartel  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations