Classification / Names
Common names from other countries
Oreochromis mossambicus bassamkhalafi is placed only under the genus Oreochromis in Eschmeyer (CofF ver. May 2011: Ref. 86870). It is treated here questionably a synonym of Oreochromis mossambicus.
Size / Weight / Age
Max length : 39.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 21); common length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9987); max. published weight: 1.1 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 11 years (Ref. 164)
Length at first maturity
Lm 15.4, range 6 - 28 cm
Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 12 m (Ref. 57895)
Climate / Range
Tropical; 17°C - 35°C (Ref. 3), preferred ?; 13°S - 35°S, 180°W - 180°E
Africa: Lower Zambezi, Lower Shiré and coastal plains from Zambezi delta to Algoa Bay. Occurs southwards to the Brak River in the eastern Cape and in the Transvaal in the Limpopo system (Ref. 6465). Widely introduced for aquaculture, but escaped and established itself in the wild in many countries, often outcompeting local species (Ref. 12217). Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions
(total): 15 - 18;
soft rays: 7 - 12;
Vertebrae: 28 - 31. Diagnosis: snout long; forehead with relatively large scales, starting with 2 scales between the eyes followed by 9 scales up to the dorsal fin (Ref. 3058, 3060). Adult males develop a pointed, duckbill-like snout (Ref. 52307) due to enlarged jaws, often causing the upper profile to become concave (Ref. 2, 7248, 12524, 13337, 52307), but upper profile convex in smaller specimens (Ref. 1870, 6460). Pharyngeal teeth very fine, the dentigerous area with narrow lobes, the blade in adults longer than dentigerous area; 28-31 vertebrae; 3 anal spines; 14-20 lower gill-rakers; genital papilla of males simple or with a shallow distal notch; caudal fin not densely scaled; female and non-breeding male silvery with 2-5 mid-lateral blotches and some of a more dorsal series; breeding male black with white lower parts of head and red margins to dorsal and caudal fins (Ref. 2).
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index
PD50 = 0.5000 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)
2.2 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.2-0.5; tm<1; tmax=11)
Low to moderate vulnerability (32 of 100)