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
Africa: endemic to Lake Chala in Kenya (Ref. 52331) and Tanzania (Ref. 118630).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4967)
(total): 16 - 17;
soft rays: 10 - 16;
Vertebrae: 31 - 34. Diagnosis: A large bodied tilapia, with a relatively large and forward-facing snout, body at least 2.8 times as long as deep (Ref. 4967, 118638). The species can be distinguished by following characters: teeth very small, in narrow bands; pharyngeal bone narrow, its width about 26% length of head, with fine teeth, crowded posteriorly, the blade equal to the median length of the toothed area in young, about 1.5 times as long in adults; pectoral fin usually less than 36% of standard length; anal spines III-IV; scales of chest and belly very small, in some individuals showing an abrupt transition from the flank scales for a short distance behind the pectoral-pelvic interspace; in some the dorsal scales may also be small; and caudal peduncle at least 1.3 times longer than deep (Ref. 2, 4967). Males characterised by an intricate melanin pattern on the head, flank scales that are darker towards posterior side, and a background light grey-blue colour; the dorsal region is darker than the ventral, and ripe males with dark pectoral, anal, caudal fins, while the dorsal fin is dark with orange margins; females with less contrasting colours, with flanks uniformly grey or olive, with a lighter ventral region (Ref. 118638).
Only found in Lake Chala (Ref. 2, 4967, 36900); several non-native tilapias are now established in this small lake as a result of stocking, and Oreochromis hunteri is apparently much less common than previously (Ref. 118638). Sometimes swimming in shoals (Ref. 36900, 55060). It feeds on algae and debris off the bottom between the rocks near the shore (Ref. 2, 55060). A maternal mouthbrooder (Ref. 118638). Fished in Lake Chala (Ref. 118638). IUCN conservation status is critically endangered (Ref. 118638).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
A maternal mouthbrooder (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. 118484)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates 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 (0.00744 - 0.04060), 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. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (36 of 100) .