Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Tilapia: Bechuana, African native thiape = fish (Ref. 45335). More on author: Boulenger.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5 - 19. Tropical; 20°C - 25°C (Ref. 1672); 9°N - 2°N, 9°W - 11°E (Ref. 55202)
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 32.3 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 81260); common length : 17.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 1.4 kg (Ref. 40637)
(total): 15 - 17;
soft rays: 10 - 11. Diagnosis: body rather elevated (body depth 46.9-51.6% SL) (Ref. 53405). Head profile rounded (Ref. 81260). Outer teeth on jaws bicuspid (Ref. 53405), gracile (Ref. 81260) and spatulated (Ref. 53405, 81260). Lower pharyngeal jaw teeth relatively small and narrow near posterior border of bone, forming an almost felt-like covering (Ref. 81260). Micro-gillrakers present; adults (> 150 mm) with a series of dark blotches in the middle of the flanks (sometimes body entirely blackish) (Ref. 53405, 81260). Juveniles with 7-9 large vertical bands (Ref. 53405). Ventral scales with central red spot; 12 or more rakers on lower limb of first gill arch (Ref. 81260).
Africa: coastal lagoons and lower river courses from the Tabou River (Côte d'Ivoire) to the Kribi River (Cameroon), but absent from the area between the Pra River (Ghana) and Benin (Ref. 53405). Also recorded from the lower Ntem, Cameroon (81260).
Live in still or flowing waters in rocky or mud-bottom areas (Ref. 44894). Occur in warm springs and mud-bottomed to sand-bottomed canals (Ref. 5723). Consume plant matter. Reache sexual maturity at 10-15 centimeters length. Parents prepare nest site on logs, leaves and other debris. The eggs (600-3300 per female) are guarded by the parents and hatch in 1-3 days. Parental care of the brood continues until the fish are about 2.5-3.0 centimeters (Ref. 44894). Substrate brooder (Ref. 81260). Maximum size was recorded at 39.4 cm TL (Ref. 40637).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Produces up to 2000 eggs.
Teugels, G.G. and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1991. Tilapia. p. 482-508. 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. 5163)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01905 (0.01532 - 0.02370), b=2.97 (2.93 - 3.01), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.3 ±0.1 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Fec = 2,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (28 of 100) .