Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Oreochromis: Latin, aurum = gold + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch (Ref. 45335). More on author: Günther.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical; 24°C - 26°C (Ref. 2059); 3°S - 9°S
Africa: endemic to Lake Tanganyika, in the coastal area and river mouths (Ref. 5166, 118630).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 42.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 118638)
(total): 15 - 17;
Vertebrae: 30 - 31. Diagnosis: A large, deep-bodied species, with wide bands of teeth in the jaws (Ref. 118638). Adult males are covered with complex bright pale blue markings, over the head, flanks and unpaired fins; the background colour can vary from greyish, through yellow to bright red; the lower part of the head is grey-white; the tailfin often head a red background and the dorsal fin has a broad red margin (Ref. 118638). Females and non-territorial males are generally a plain silvery colour, with pearly spots on the flanks; they occasionally exhibit vertical bars and/or horizontal dark bars (Ref. 118638).
It is the dominant tilapiine species in Lake Tanganyika, despite the presence of the normally invasive Nile tilapia (Ref. 118638). It is not normally found far up into inflowing rivers (Ref. 118638). It has been reported to browse the surface film of sheltered waters; stomachs contained large quantities of the diatoms Pinnularia and Navicula with some sand-grains (Ref. 2). A maternal mouthbrooder; males defend territories in shallow water in sheltered sandy or muddy areas, and dig simple pits in the substrate (Ref. 118638). A large fast-growing species well represented in fishery catches in and around Lake Tanganyika; currently being promoted as an aquaculture species and occasionally exported for the aquarium trade (Ref. 118638).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
A maternal mouthbrooder; males defend territories in shallow water in sheltered sandy or muddy areas, and dig simple pits in the substrate (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. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties 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 (2.83 - 3.23), 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. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .