Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Tilapia: Bechuana, African native thiape = fish (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - ? ; dH range: 10 - ?; potamodromous; depth range 5 - ? m (Ref. 3). Tropical; 22°C - 25°C (Ref. 2059); 10°S - 30°S
Africa: middle Congo River basin in the Kwilu (Ref. 11970), Kwango, Kasai drainage (Ref. 11970, 55074) and Lomami (Ref. 106245); upper Congo River basin including the Lualaba, upper Lualaba, Lufira, Upemba region, Luvua, Lake Mweru, Luapula (Ref. 55074) and Bangweulu (Ref. 5163, 95585); Cunene, Okavango, Lake Ngami, Zambezi, Limpopo, northern tributaries of the Orange River (Ref. 5163, 11970), upper Cuanza, Sabi, Lundi and Lake Malawi (Ref. 5163).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 23.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27292); max. published weight: 445.00 g (Ref. 7248)
Occurs in widely diverse habitat. Favors areas where plant cover exists along the edges of rivers, lakes or swamps. Prefers shallow sheltered waters and does not colonize the open water of large lakes. Adults feed preferentially on filamentous algae, aquatic macrophytes and vegetable matter of terrestrial origin (leaves, plants, etc.) (Ref. 3). Juveniles feed on small crustaceans and midge larvae (Ref. 6465). Forage fish for bass (Ref. 7248). Undertake seasonal upstream migration and breeds before and during these migrations (Ref. 13337, 52307). Biparental, open substratum brooder (Ref. 52307).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Male spreads his milt over the cluster of eggs which are deposited on the bottom or even attached to the branches of aquatic weeds. Parents guard the eggs. Eggs and fry may be moved into the mouth to alternative sites during hatching operations but there is no evidence of actual mouth brooding.
Teugels, G.G. and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1991. Tilapia. p. 482-508. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4. (Ref. 5163)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5078 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01479 (0.00838 - 0.02612), b=2.93 (2.78 - 3.08), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.7 ±0.28 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Assuming K>0.3; tm=1).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (14 of 100) .