Ecology of Oreochromis mossambicus
Main Ref. Philippart, J.-C. and J.-C. Ruwet, 1982
Remarks Inhabits lower Zambezi, Limpopo and eastern rivers southwards. Prefers sheltered banks provided with vegetation. The adult tilapia mainly occupy deeper terraces which surround the lake at high-water levels. Feeds on detritus, plankton, and algae (Ref. 11889). Small fish fed initially on zoobenthos and zooplankton, but fish with a mass of over 4 g fed increasingly on Microcystis aeruginosa and detritus (Ref. 43783). Increased in rainfall improved the quality of diet, as level of protein, energy and organic matter in the diet increased in quantity (Ref. 52847). Utilized in rice fish culture (Ref. 26236).

Aquatic zones / Water bodies

Marine - Neritic Marine - Oceanic Brackishwater Freshwater
Marine zones / Brackish and freshwater bodies
  • supra-littoral zone
  • littoral zone
  • sublittoral zone
  • epipelagic
  • mesopelagic
  • epipelagic
  • abyssopelagic
  • hadopelagic
  • estuaries/lagoons/brackish seas
  • mangroves
  • marshes/swamps
  • rivers/streams
  • lakes/ponds
  • caves
  • exclusively in caves
Highighted items on the list are where Oreochromis mossambicus may be found.


Substrate Ref.
Special habitats
Special habitats Ref. Halwart, M. and M.V. Gupta, 2004


Associated with
Association remarks


Feeding type mainly plants/detritus (troph. 2-2.19)
Feeding type Ref. Trewavas, E., 1982
Feeding habit browsing on substrate
Feeding habit Ref. Trewavas, E., 1982
Trophic Level(s)
Estimation method Original sample Unfished population Remark
Troph s.e. Troph s.e.
From diet composition 2.17 0.03 2.00 0.00 Troph of juv./adults from 14 studies.
From individual food items 2.77 0.36 Trophic level estimated from a number of food items using a randomized resampling routine.
Ref. Blühdorn, D.R., A.H. Arthington and P.B. Mather, 1989
(e.g. 346)
(e.g. cnidaria)
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