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Oreochromis macrochir  (Boulenger, 1912)

Longfin tilapia
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Image of Oreochromis macrochir (Longfin tilapia)
Oreochromis macrochir
Picture by de Vos, L.

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);  macrochir: From the Greek "macros" = big and the Greek "cheir" = hand, or pectoral fin in fishes, referring to the large pectoral fin (Ref. 52307).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic; depth range 5 - 14 m (Ref. 58302).   Tropical; 18°C - 35°C (Ref. 54042); 5°N - 25°S

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 15.6, range 18 - 18 cm
Max length : 43.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 54097)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 15 - 17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-14; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 9 - 12; Vertebrae: 29 - 32. Diagnosis: head profile steep (Ref. 2, 7248, 12524, 13337, 33478, 52193, 54167) and rounded (Ref. 315, 12524). Toothed area of lower pharyngeal bone with broadly rounded lobes; scales on cheek in 2-3 rows; caudal scales variable, not on the inter-radial membranes except at the base, and never stiffening the fin (Ref. 2). Adults with black (Ref. 2, 12524) or dark brown flecks in the temporal region, on the gill-cover (Ref. 2, 11970) and below the eye, mostly associated with openings of the lateral line system (Ref. 2). Adults without conspicuous mid-lateral blotches (Ref. 2).

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

Africa: Kafue, upper Zambezi, and Congo River systems; introduced elsewhere in Africa and in Hawaiian Islands Also in the Okavango and Ngami region, Cunene basin, Chambezi and Bangweulu region (Ref. 5166).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Mating territory having a central volcano-shaped mound (Ref. 2, 246, 314, 5214, 12524, 55074) with a flat or slightly concave top, surrounded by a ditch and vallum, in contrast to O. mweruensis (Ref. 2). Prefers quiet, deep water associated with aquatic vegetation, but has been collected in other habitats as well (Ref. 12524, 13337). Found at temperatures between 18 and 35°C (Ref. 54042). Has a very low salinity tolerance (Ref. 2, 58). Occasionally forms schools, is mainly diurnal (Ref. 2). Feeds mostly on detritus (Ref. 87, 7248, 44661, 52193, 52307, 56192), (blue-green) algae (Ref. 12524, 13337, 44661) and diatoms (Ref. 246, 7248, 12524, 13337, 52193). Juvenile also accepts small invertebrates and zooplankton (Ref. 7248, 52193, 52307), but lose this tendency with age (Ref. 52307). Maternal mouthbrooder (Ref. 87, 246, 314, 5214, 7248, 8600, 12524, 13337, 36094, 52193, 54042). Flesh excellent (Ref. 5214).

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.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A3e)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans




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 empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02138 (0.01313 - 0.03481), b=3.01 (2.87 - 3.15), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.2   ±0.11 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.23-1.0; tm<1).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (35 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.