Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Oreochromis: Latin, aurum = gold + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic, usually ? - 10 m (Ref. 5595). Tropical; 22°C - 28°C; 8°S - 15°S
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 28.9, range 20 - 38 cm
Max length : 42.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6150); 38.0 cm SL (female)
(total): 15 - 17;
soft rays: 8 - 10;
Vertebrae: 30 - 32. Diagnosis: head length 30.8-36.0% SL; length of lower jaw 28.4-34.5% head length; teeth of jaws in 4-5(6) rows (Ref. 2). Massive (lower) pharyngeal bone with large toothed area (Ref. 2, 2781), with straight (Ref. 2, 4364, 52161) or slightly convex sides (Ref. 2). Median length of bone 1.14-1.32 times its width and 38.2-42.2 % length of head; blade 1.0-1.7 times median length of toothed area; breeding male black (Ref. 2).
Africa: Lake Malawi.
Occurs in shallow vegetated bays, over sand, in purely rocky biotopes and other kinds of habitats; mostly found at shallow depths; feeds on phytoplankton and on diatom sediment on the sand (Ref. 5595). Maternal mouthbrooder (Ref. 6150).
Breeding period extends over several months as noted in Lake Malombe, at present one of the main breeding areas for this species (Ref. 6150). Males build nests on a variety of substrata and at depths of 0.5m to at least 28m; nests generally 0.3-1.9m diameter, with dimensions correlated to male size (Ref. 55079). Nest with a characteristic spawning cone in its center (Ref. 5595). Courtship appears to occur mainly in the early morning (Ref. 40193, 55079), and consist of leading, followed by tilting and head-down quivering if the female follows the male to the nest (Ref. 40193). A female with 324 young of 15mm long in the mouth has been caught (Ref. 2781). Females keep guarding their fry until they are about 24 mm (Ref. 2781, 6150).
Trewavas, E. and G.G. Teugels, 1991. Oreochromis. p. 307-346. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Checklist of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4. (Ref. 5166)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01230 (0.00716 - 0.02114), b=2.95 (2.81 - 3.09), based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.00 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.24-0.56).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (38 of 100) .