Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution 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)
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).
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).
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). Clearly prefers a herbivorous diet, including algae, higher plants and parts of cassava, but also accepts insects and shrimps (along with their eggs) (Ref. 52307). Consume plant matter. Reache sexual maturity at 10-15 centimeters length. Parents prepare nest site on logs, leaves and other debris. Prolific species (Ref. 52307). The eggs (600-3300 per female) are guarded by the parents and hatch in 1-3 days. Larvae need 6-8 additional days to develop before they can swim freely (Ref. 52307). Parental care of the brood continues until the fish are about (1.5 cm, Ref. 52307) 2.5-3.0 centimeters (Ref. 44894). Occurs in mixed groups composed of individuals of varying size/age, along with individuals of other species (Ref. 52307). Pair-bonding, open (Ref. 52307) substrate brooder (Ref. 52307, 81260) with both parents guarding the brood (Ref. 52307). 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.
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: ; aquarium: commercial
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.7500 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01622 (0.01385 - 0.01898), b=2.99 (2.95 - 3.03), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.4 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Generation time: 2.4 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Fec = 2,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (28 of 100) .