Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic. Tropical; 22°C - 26°C (Ref. 2059); 16°N - 12°S, 17°W - 16°E
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)
(total): 14 - 16;
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).
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).
Oviparous (Ref. 205). Subtrate guarding of eggs as a form of parental care is done by both male and female (Ref. 50828).
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)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 25.5 - 28, mean 27.4 °C (based on 152 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 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) .