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Oreochromis andersonii  (Castelnau, 1861)

Three spotted tilapia
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Oreochromis andersonii
Picture by Cada, L.A.

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);  andersonii: Named for the Swede Charles John Anderson, who explored Namibia during the middle of the 19th century (Ref. 13337).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; depth range 0 - 10 m (Ref. 54002), usually 3 - 6 m (Ref. 54002).   Tropical; 18°C - 33°C (Ref. 3); 12°S - 21°S

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 24.4, range 12 - 15 cm
Max length : 61.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); max. published weight: 4.7 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 13 years (Ref. 13400)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 15 - 18; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-15; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 9 - 13; Vertebrae: 30 - 32. Diagnosis: male genital papilla bluntly conical with a narrow flange slightly notched in the middle; jaws enlarged in breeding males, which in this species are normally not less than 30cm TL; scales in lateral line series 31-35, usually 32-33; scales of cheek in 3 full rows; vertebrae 30-32; total number of dorsal rays 28-31. Pectoral fin in adults 34-43% SL (Ref. 2), very long (Ref. 1904). Depth of body 40.5-50.5% SL; color-pattern of non-breeding fish and female always including 3 or 4 conspicuous mid-lateral blotches and a red margin on dorsal and caudal fins; breeding male with red margins broader and brighter and general dark, iridescent purplish-brown color of head, back and flanks, masking the blotches; no series of vertical spots or vertical stripes on caudal fin; nest a simple circular depression (Ref. 2).

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

Africa: Ngami basin, Okavango River; Cunene River and Mossamedes, Angola; upper Zambezi, Kafue River; middle Zambezi, Lake Kariba and Cabora Bassa since construction of dams. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in both river and swamp habitats and is adapted to fairly fast-flowing rivers (Ref. 6465). Hardy, tolerating fresh and brackish water (up to 20ppt, Ref. 3), preferring slow-flowing or standing water; adults occupy deep open waters, juveniles remain inshore among vegetation (Ref. 7248, 52193). Prefers fairly deep, quiet water with some weed cover; hippo pools are a favoured retreat (Ref. 12524, 13337). Forms schools (Ref. 2, 12524, 13337). Mainly diurnal; a detritivore which feeds on fine particulate matter (Ref. 2), including algae (Ref. 246, 12524, 13337, 53992), diatoms, detritus (Ref. 7248, 52193, 53992) and zooplankton (Ref. 7248, 52193). Larger individuals also take insects and other invertebrates (Ref. 53992). Feeding regime is variable, the diet changes according to food availability (Ref. 6465). Female mouthbrooder (Ref. 87, 246, 6465, 12524, 13337). Fine angling and table species (Ref. 6465, 12524, 13337).

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)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A3e)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Potential pest (Ref. 6465)




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Aquaculture: production; ; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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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=0.01660 (0.01070 - 0.02573), b=3.03 (2.90 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.0   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.17-0.22; tm=4; tmax=13).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.