We investigated carbohydrate residues on the epithelial surface, in the epithelial cells and in gland cells of the tongue of the mole rat using histochemical methods. We used horseradish peroxidase-conjugated lectins from Helix pomatia (HPA), Arachishypogaea (PNA), Ulexeuropaeus (UEA I), Canavaliaensiformis (Con A). The most intense reactivity was observed in the keratin layer with HPA, UEA I and Con A, and in the epithelial cells with UEA I and Con A. In the glands, we found strong reactivity in serous cells with HPA and Con A, and in mucous cells with HPA and UEA I. PNA did not bind to epithelial or gland cells. Consequently, GlcNAc, fucose and -D-mannose terminal glycoconjugates are distributed widely; GalNAc terminal glycoconjugates appeared in small amounts.