Morphology Data of Oreochromis squamipinnis
Identification keys
Main Ref. Trewavas, E., 1983
Appearance refers to Male; Female
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs genital papilla with tassels (m)
Different appearance different morphology during breeding season only
Different colors different colors during breeding season only
Remarks Male with bifid white genital tassel (Ref.4967); with blue or white head while female/juvenile silver grey (Ref. 6150). Ripe testes broad, white & sinuous.

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral fusiform / normal
Cross section compressed
Dorsal head profile more or less straight
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout more or less normal
Position of mouth terminal
Type of scales cycloid scales

Diagnosis: A heavily-built large tilapia species with a wide rounded head; dwarf populations exist in some crater lakes, showing bony 'hunger-form' body shape (Ref. 118638). Females and juveniles with grey bodies and 6 or more vertical bars; males have a bright blue, occasionally white or green, 'mask' across the head; when fully ripe, the underside of most of the body can be black, with the upper surface a conspicuous white to pale blue; genital tassel can be long and branched, pinkish to bright yellow; females and non-territorial males are indistinguishable from Oreochromis karongae (Ref. 118638).

Description: Length of head35.7-38.0% of standard length; lower pharyngeal toothed area with concave sides; median length of bone 1.26-1.36 times its width and 37.6-40.6% length of head; blade 1.6-2.4 times the median length of the toothed area; length of lower jaw 31.4-34.0% length of head; teeth of jaws in 3-5 rows (Ref. 2).

Colouration: Breeding male silvery blue with white and pale blue top of head and dorsum and white dorsal margin (Ref. 2).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Oreochromis squamipinnis

Lateral Lines 2 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line 32 - 35
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Barbels 0
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only) absent
Gill rakers
on lower limb 17 - 22
on upper limb 2 - 4


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes extending over most of the back length
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 16 - 17
Soft-rays total 10 - 11
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 3 - 3
Soft-rays total 8 - 10

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    thoracic  beneath origin of D1
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Binohlan, Crispina B.
Modified by Boden, Gert
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cfm script by eagbayani, 17.10.00, php script by rolavides, 13/03/08 ,  last modified by sortiz, 06.27.17