Sarotherodon melanotheron  Rüppell, 1852

Blackchin tilapia
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Sarotherodon melanotheron
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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: Sarotherodon: Greek, saros, -ou = sawdust + Greek, ther = animal * Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 7.0 - 8.0; dH range: 9 - 19; depth range 3 - ? m (Ref. 5723).   Tropical; 23°C - 25°C (Ref. 2060); 18°N - 0°N

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 13.2, range 13 - ? cm
Max length : 28.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 31256); common length : 17.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 15 - 17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-12; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8 - 10; Vertebrae: 26 - 28. Diagnosis: length of caudal peduncle 0.6-0.9 times in its depth (Ref. 53405). Melanic areas in adult usually present on lower parts of head, on cleithrum and on apices of caudal and soft dorsal fins; occasional irregular and asymmetrical spots on flanks probably representing vertical bars; median spot or transverse bar on nape rather constant (Ref. 2).

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

Africa: Lagoons and estuaries from Mauritania to Cameroon. Introduced to several countries in Asia, USA and Europe (Ref. 21). At least one country reports adverse ecological impact after introduction. Previously, three subspecies were recognized: Sarotherodon melanotheron heudelotii, Sarotherodon melanotheron leonensis and Sarotherodon melanotheron melanotheron.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Primarily in estuaries and lagoons (Ref. 53405). Abundant in mangrove areas and venture in to both fresh and salt waters in native and non-native ranges (Ref. 46816). Forms schools; is mainly nocturnal with intermittent daytime feeding. Feeds on aufwuchs and detritus (Ref. 2), as well as on bivalves and zooplankton (Ref. 28587). Occurs in lower reaches of streams and can tolerate high salinity (Ref. 5723).

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

Trewavas, E. and G.G. Teugels, 1991. Sarotherodon. p. 425-437. 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. 4999)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Potential pest




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial
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 = 0.5001   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01950 (0.01104 - 0.03443), b=3.03 (2.86 - 3.20), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-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=0.16).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (17 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.