[Ebook] The New Guide to Aquarium Fish – Catfishes – Catfishes in the Aquarium
All catfishes have barbels: Whisker-like filaments surrounding the mouth. It is this feature, resembling feline whiskers, that has given the Siluriformes the common name of catfishes. There are great variations in the form and number of barbels, dependent on species. Most species have two to four pairs of barbels, usually filamentous, but sometimes fringed with smaller branches as in the African Synodontis nigriventris (upside-down catfish), or built into large sucker-like lips.