Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Cichliformes
(Cichlids, convict blennies) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Oreochromis: Latin, aurum = gold + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic. Tropical
Africa: Lower part of Pangani River and neighbouring Zigi River in Tazania and Kenya (Ref. 2, 52331, 118630). Introduced in Mlingano dam, south of Pangani River, and probably other dams in coastal zone of Tanzania (Ref. 2, 54836). Also in Lake Rutamba, Lake Nambawala and Lake Mitupa near Lindi in southeast Tanzania (Ref. 118630, 118638).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 16.1 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 52331)
(total): 16 - 18;
soft rays: 9 - 11;
Vertebrae: 29 - 30. Diagnosis: A small bodied tilapia (Ref. 118638). About 50% of individuals have IV anal spines, the modal numbers of vertebrae (29), dorsal rays (27) and gill-rakers (15) are low, and the jaws of breeding males are enlarged (Ref. 2). Females, subadult males and juveniles with a silver/grey flank colour, light ventral colour, and characteristic melanin pattern of 7-9 broken vertical stripes on the dorsal side giving a spotted appearance; males darker, with a series of white spots/bars on the flanks; ripe males have red margins on dorsal and caudal, with a reddish tinge to the pectoral fins; males from southern populations showed a bluish sheen and less contrasting male colouration (Ref. 118638). In breeding males the throat and chest are black and broad dark vertical bars are conspicuous on the lower half of the body (Ref. 2, 4967, 54096).
A maternal mouthbrooder (Ref. 118638). There is evidence of hybridization with native Oreochromis jipe in northern Tanzania, and non-native O. niloticus in southern Tanzania (Ref. 118638). Of only minor importance to artisanal fisheries (Ref. 118638). Maximum standard length of 18 cm (Ref. 4967) is not confirmed (Ref. 2, G.F. Turner pers. comm.); maximum total length reported as 20.8 cm (Ref. 2, 118638).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
A maternal mouthbrooder (Ref. 118638).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: ; aquaculture: likely future use
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01738 (0.00747 - 0.04041), b=3.03 (2.84 - 3.22), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.40 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (23 of 100) .