Cutaneous oxygen consumption and oxygen uptake from the external medium were investigated in three species of freshwater teleosts:eel(Anguilla anguilla L.)(silvered stage), trout (Salmo gairdnerii R.) and tench (Tinca tinca L.). The oxygen consumption of the skin is the same in the three species: 4.5 nmol-cm-2-min-1. It accounts for 35% of total Mo2 in the eel; 23% in the tench, which lives in poorly oxygenated water; and 13% in the trout living in highly oxygenated water. Cutaneous oxygen consumption is equal to (Salmo and Tinca) or greater than (Anguilla) cutaneous oxygen uptake from the external medium. Consequently, the skin in these three species is not an oxygen exchange for the benefit of other organs.