Journal of Ichthyology

, Volume 50, Issue 11, pp 1021–1029 | Cite as

Taste preferences and feeding behavior of the stone loach Barbatula barbatula (Balitoridae, Cypriniformes) after partial deprivation of circum-mouth external gustatory and tactile receptors



Comparative study of the feeding behavior and gustatory preferences mediated by extraoral and intraoral gustatory reception in the stone loach Barbatula barbatula in the norm and 1–6 months after extirpation of all three pairs of barbels was performed. It was found that partial loss of external gustatory receptors and the sensory deficit caused by it do not lead to any noticeable disturbances of the ability of fish to evaluate taste properties of food objects (artificial agar-agar pellets containing L-isomers of alanine, lysine, cysteine or an water extract of chironomid larvae) and make an adequate decision of their grasping or ignoring and swallowing or refusing. The extirpation of the barbels does not influence feeding behavior related to determination by fish of the taste properties of pellets and completely retains in its ritual an obligatory preliminary examination of the food object using external gustatory reception. It is suggested that external taste buds having different localization are equally capable of providing for fish a preliminary evaluation of the taste properties of the object. After extirpation of the barbels, the efficiency of grasping pellets decreases in fish, which indicates an important role of tactile reception in the determination of the site of location of the food object and in providing of the accuracy of the hunter’s dart in fish with a weak vision development.

Key words

chemoreception mechanoreception gustatory system tactile reception taste preferences taste attractiveness feeding behavior behavior of food testing 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. O. Kasumyan
    • 1
  • S. S. Sidorov
    • 1
  • E. A. Marusov
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology FacultyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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