Do Betta Fish Have Tongues? 5 Things You Need To Know

Do betta fish have tongues? It is a question that many people do not know the answer to. This article will go in-depth on do betta fish have tongues, what do they do with their tongue, and why do they even need it. 

Betta is known for being one of the most popular pet fish in the world, but did you know that they have mouths too? A mouth is where food goes in and out of your body. But if you didn’t know this already, you might be wondering why there would be any point in having a tongue at all! Well, let’s find out together about do betta fish have tongues.

Do Betta Fish Have Tongues?

Do Betta Fish Have Tongues
Image Source: Made With Canva

Betta fish do have tongues, but it is not a tongue like humans. The betta’s “tongue” is called the labrum and does several things for the fish including breaking down food before swallowing, helping with suction which allows them to suck up prey from inside of plants or crevices in rocks where other fish cannot reach.

Also, read: Betta fish behavior before death? 7 Signs and how to prevent!

For What Purpose Do Betta Fish Have Tongues?

For What Purpose Do Betta Fish Have Tongues
Image Source: Made With Canva

The purpose of betta fish having tongues are:

– Betas do not use their tongues to eat or taste, but they do have receptors that can perceive different tastes.

– If bettas do need a tongue for eating and tasting, it is more likely used in conjunction with the snout than inside of the mouth itself. Some people say that betta fish suck up their food, but do not suck it up with their tongues.

– Betta fish do eat and taste using their tongues (and snout), however, they do not have the same type of receptors that we do nor do betta fish use a large amount of tongue to eat or sense food as humans do.

– Betta do not have taste buds, but they do use their tongues to feel the food in front of them and when betta fish do this it is called ‘licking’.

– Betta does not have tongues for eating, but betta fish do use their tongues to feel.

Also read: Do betta fish recognize their owners?

Can Betta Taste Using Their Tongues? Do They Have Taste Buds?

Can Betta Taste Using Their Tongues
Image Source: Made With Canva

Betta fish do have taste buds on the outside of their mouths as well as internally to detect flavors from the food they eat. The presence of these structures indicates that betta does have the ability to taste.

Betta fish do not use their tongues as humans do. Betta fish do taste using their tongues, but the tongue is very different from what we call a “tongue” in humans.

– Betta fish do not have taste buds on their tongues as we do.

– Betta tastes with mucus and structures on their mouth.

Also, read: Is your betta sick and laying at your bottom of the tank? 5 Surprising reasons!

Do Betta Bite Their Tongue?

Betta does not have teeth so they do not bite their tongues. Their mouths are designed for sucking up a variety of foods. Betta does, however, use their tongues to grab food and push it into the mouth cavity where digestive enzymes can be found that break down proteins from insects or worms. In addition, betta fish do possess taste buds and do have the ability to taste using their tongues.

Can Betta Fish Stick Their Tongue Out?

Betta fish do not stick out their tongue as humans do, but they can move it as we do to eat food or recognize any object that comes close to them. A betta’s tongue is flat and wide with lateral projections used for feeling prey items against his body before ingestion. This structure is very similar to a whale’s or dolphin’s tongue, which does not possess taste buds and does not catch prey with their tongues (used only for breathing).

Also, read: Best betta tank mates you should keep!

Can Betta Move Their Tongue As Humans Do? 

No, they cannot do this. They are unable to stick their tongues out because of the way that they are designed. Their tongues lay against the bottom of their mouth which is unlike our anatomy. This can be found in many different species of animal life, due to how their mouths are formed.

Read my friend’s article: Do betta fish have teeth?

What Does a Betta Fish Tongue Look Like?

What Does a Betta Fish Tongue Look Like
Image Source: Made With Canva

The structure of a betta fish tongue is very different than human tongues. Bettas do not have taste buds, but they do contain cells that sense motion (mechanoreceptors). This means betta fish can detect movement in the water and use their tongue to eat food. A betta’s tongue is covered with many tiny barbs which act like hooks; this helps them catch prey.

Their tongue is the only difference between them and other types of tropical freshwater fish.  Although betta does not use their tongues to taste as we do, they do sense motion and pressure with them.

Here is a detailed video of the betta fish body.


Do Betta Fish Have Tongues - Conclusion
Image Source: Made With Canva

So lastly I conclude that betta fish do have tongues. Betta does use their tongue for tasting and eating food. They also don’t have taste buds on their tongues. If do betta fish have a tongue what does it look like? It is long and flat, which can be seen from the picture above.

Betta does not bite their tongues, but they can stick it out. They are also able to move their tongue in the same way humans do even though betta fish do not have muscles on the outside of their bodies. Betta usually keeps licking you with their long flat tongues when they see food or want something from you.

Betta does not only use their tongues to eat but also for other purposes like breathing, sensing surroundings, and even communication. The next time you see your betta sticking his long flat tongue out at you don’t get mad or annoyed just give him some food!

Leave a Comment