Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Cichliformes
(Cichlids, convict blennies) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Tilapia: Bechuana, African native thiape = fish (Ref. 45335). More on author: Trewavas.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - 7.8; dH range: ? - 15. Tropical; 22°C - 26°C (Ref. 2059); 19°S - 21°S
Africa: endemic to Lake Guinas, Namibia. Introduced to Lake Otjikoto and several reservoirs in Namibia. Also occurs in subterranean rivers.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 14.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6465)
Found in deep sinkhole lakes (100 m deep or more, e.g. introduced population in Lake Otjikoto, Namibia) with moderately clear water and with water temperatures ranging from 19 to 27°C (Ref. 6465). Omnivorous (Ref. 52307), but feeds mainly on algae and diatoms (Ref. 6465, 52307). Generally congregate, breed and feed from the near-vertical shores. Use narrow shelves for breeding, with established and defended territories, both parents guard and tend eggs. Threatened due to depletion of local groundwater resources and impact of introduced species (Ref. 7248). Individuals tend to display different color patterns ranging from pure black to mottled black and blue, pink and white (Ref. 27829). Biparental open-spawning species (Ref. 52307).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Nests are built on narrow rocky ledges and competition for these nest sites is very strong.
Teugels, G.G. and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1991. Tilapia. p. 482-508. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4. (Ref. 5163)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: ; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5078 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01445 (0.00674 - 0.03099), b=2.97 (2.80 - 3.14), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.00 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 (15 of 100) .