Oreochromis variabilis  (Boulenger, 1906)

Victoria tilapia
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Oreochromis variabilis
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

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 Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic; depth range 4 - 49 m.   Tropical; 24°C - 28°C (Ref. 2059)

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 34290)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 16 - 18; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-12; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 9 - 11; Vertebrae: 29 - 31. Margin of the dorsal fin orange in females and non-breeding males; intense orange to scarlet in breeding males. Profile convex immediately before the eye. Usually 2 rows of scales on cheek. Caudal not heavily scaled. Preserved specimens often show 2-3 vague dark mid-lateral blotches and one on top of the peduncle. Body color grey-green (Ref.4967).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: Lake Victoria and its affluent rivers; the Victoria Nile above the Murchison Falls; Lakes Kyoga, Kwania and Salisbury (Ref. 5166). It is strongly declining or has disappeared in many areas of the Lake Victoria drainage (Ref. 52331).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs at temperatures ranging from 23.0-28.0 °C (Ref. 3). Occasionally forms schools. Is mainly diurnal. Adults feed predominantly on bottom algae, some of the planktonic organisms that are found in their stomachs are probably those which have settled on the bottom or were washed shorewards from open waters but they do feed directly on plankton (Ref. 2).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Kullander, Sven O. | Collaborators

Trewavas, E., 1983. Tilapiine fishes of the genera Sarotherodon, Oreochromis and Danakilia. British Mus. Nat. Hist., London, UK. 583 p. (Ref. 2)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Critically Endangered (CR) (B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v))

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: experimental; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

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Common names
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Age/Size
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Ciguatera
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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | Public aquariums | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01905 (0.00909 - 0.03994), b=2.96 (2.79 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for this 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 (Fec=500).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (18 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.