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fish Barbel

Identify It >   Freshwater Wildlife Section >   Barbel >

Scientific name:  Barbus barbus

Size:  Up to 90cm long and weight up to 10kg.

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK

Months seen:  All year round

Life Span:  Up to 20 years

Habitat:  Slow and fast flowing gravel or rock bottomed rivers

Food:  Aquatic vegetation, snails, insects and small fish

Special features:  Barbel are named after the two pairs of barbs, or beards which dangle down on either side of the mouth.  They are used to locate food on the river bed.  Barbel are long, streamlined fish, renowned amongst anglers for being powerful swimmers.  They are usually a greenish-bronze colour with a silver belly, but they can be a dark brown.

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