Investigations were made on the surface morphology, distribution and behavioural responses of the taste buds in oropharyngeal cavity of a nocturnal predator, the Mandarin fish, Siniperca chuatsi. Almost all scanning electron microscopic studies revealed only two types of elevated taste bud. Type I taste buds were located on papillae associated with the teeth while those of Type II were mainly found on the tongue. Behavioural experiments showed that the elevated taste buds in the oropharyngeal cavity were sensitive to both chemical and mechanical stimuli, and the texture of the food is as important as its chemical nature to the fish. It is suggested that the elevated taste buds do have the functions of mechanoreception as well as chemoreception, and the distribution of the taste buds and their close association with teeth are adaptations to the predatory feeding habit of the mandarin fish.
Liang Xu-fang.Taste buds in the oropharyngeal cavity of mandarin fish (Siniperca chuatsi): Scanning electron microscopic and behavioural investigations in relation to fish feeding habit,Acta Zoologica Sinica,1996,42(1):22-27