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). More on author: Ahl.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical; 9°S - 10°S
Africa: Lake Kiungululu [=Lake Chungruru], a small oligotrophic crater lake in the Rungwe Mountains in Tanzania (Ref. 54852, 118630, 118638), and probably Lake Masoko (Ref. 54852).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 15.4 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2)
(total): 14 - 15;
soft rays: 8 - 11;
Vertebrae: 30. Diagnosis: A relatively small bodied tilapia species; larger individuals were found to have large heads, thin bodies and an overall emaciated appearance, referred to as 'hunger form tilapia' (Ref. 118638). Length of head 37.6-40.5% of standard length; toothed area of lower pharyngeal with concave sides; median length of bone 1.0-1.24 times its width and 31.6-35.5% of head length; blade 1.2-1.4 times median length of toothed area; length of lower jaw 32.0-39.0% of head length; teeth of jaws in 4 or 5 rows (Ref. 2). Females and non-territorial males have grey bodies and 4-5 vertical bars; ventral region lighter; some juveniles very dark overall (Ref. 118638). Breeding males black with a thin white/orange dorsal margin (Ref. 2, 118638).
The maximum reported total length is 19.5 cm (Ref. 2, 118638); the maximum standard length of 19 cm (Ref. 4967) is not correct (G.F. Turner, pers. comm.). A maternal mouthbrooder; males defend territories in shallow water, digging a pit among branches and roots of reeds (Ref. 118638). Like Oreochromis hunteri, this species appears to be confined to a single lake without an outlet (Ref. 4967). The single population of this species is probably very small and vulnerable and is likely to support a sustainable fishery; the small adult size of the species would suggest minimal potential for aquaculture (Ref. 118638). Its IUCN conservation status is critically endangered, based on risk of siltation and water level fluctuations due to drought; in addition, populations are likely to have been impacted by the stocking of the lake with Coptodon rendalli and Tilapia sparrmanii, which are both presently abundant (Ref. 118638).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
A maternal mouthbrooder; males defend territories in shallow water, digging a pit among branches and roots of reeds (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
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
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (22 of 100) .