Coptodon guineensis, Guinean tilapia : fisheries, aquaculture

Coptodon guineensis (Günther, 1862)

Guinean tilapia
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
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Coptodon guineensis   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Coptodon guineensis (Guinean tilapia)
Coptodon guineensis
Female picture by Melandri, G.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Cichlidae (Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
  More on author: Günther.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic.   Tropical; 22°C - 26°C (Ref. 2059); 16°N - 12°S, 17°W - 16°E

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

Africa: coastal basins, fresh waters, brackish and marine waters from mouth of Senegal River (Senegal) to mouth of the Cuanza River (Angola) (Ref. 81260), sometimes ascending far up rivers.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 13.5, range 10 - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 31256)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 14 - 16; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-13; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8 - 10. Diagnosis: upper profile of head strongly convex; lower pharyngeal bone about as long as broad, and with anterior lamella shorter than toothed area (Ref. 53405). 10 or fewer rakers on lower limb of first arch; unpaired fins not predominantly red-brown; mouth terminal; 29-30 scales on lateral line; outer row teeth robust (Ref. 81260). Dorsal fin with 14-16 spines and 12-13 soft rays (total rays 27-29) (Ref. 53405, 81260). Anal fin with 3 spines and 8-10 soft rays; caudal fin weakly covered with scales at base or entirely membranous (Ref. 81260). Caudal without spots, grey on upper lobe, yellow on lower; large vertical stripes weakly pronounced on flanks; flank scales with a blackish mark at base (Ref. 53405, 81260). No bifurcated dark vertical bars on flanks; dorsal and anal without orange-red upper margin (Ref. 53405). Length of caudal peduncle 10.5-12.9% of standard length (Ref. 81260).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Very tolerant of elevated salinities, found in pure seawater, even reproduction in these highly saline environments is possible (Ref. 52307). Feeds on shrimps, bivalves, plankton (Ref. 28587), detritus (Ref. 28587, 52307), higher plants, algae, aufwuchs and small crustaceans (Ref. 52307). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Very prolific, spawning up to every 3 weeks (Ref. 52307). Pair bonding, open (Ref. 52307) substrate brooder/spawner (Ref. 52307, 81260) with both parents guarding the brood (Ref. 52307).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Oviparous (Ref. 205). Subtrate guarding of eggs as a form of parental care is done by both male and female (Ref. 50828).

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

Dunz, A.R. and U.K. Schliewen, 2013. Molecular phylogeny and revised classification of the haplotilapiine cichlid fishes formerly referred to as "Tilapia". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 68(1):64-80. (Ref. 93285)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 21 April 2019

CITES (Ref. 118484)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource |

More information

Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 25.5 - 28, mean 27.4 °C (based on 152 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01148 (0.00686 - 0.01921), b=2.95 (2.81 - 3.09), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  2.8   ±0.33 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 0.8 (0.5 - 1.3) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 10 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.47; Fec < 1,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (19 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.