Teleostei (teleosts) > Cichliformes
(Cichlids, convict blennies) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Sarotherodon: Greek, saros, -ou = sawdust + Greek, ther = animal * Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335).
More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 5 - ? m (Ref. 28714). Subtropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 2059); 35°N - 15°S
Africa and Eurasia: Jordan system, especially in lakes; coastal rivers of Israel; Nile system, including the delta lakes and Lake Albert and Turkana; in West Africa in the Senegal, Gambia, Casamance, Géba, Konkouré, Sassandra, Bandama, Comoé, Niger, Volta, Tano, Lake Bosumtwi, Mono, Ouémé, Ogun, Cross, Benue, Logone, Shari and Lake Chad; Draa (Morocco), Adrar (Mauritania); Saharian oases Borku, Ennedi and Tibesti in northern Chad; Sanaga and Nyong basins in Cameroon (Ref. 4999). In the Congo basin, Sarotherodon galilaeus boulengeri is known from the lower and middle Congo River from Matadi to Pool Malebo (=Stanley Pool) and the lower Kasai (Ref. 2) and Lukenie (Ref. 55074) while Sarotherodon galilaeus galilaeus is present in the middle Congo River basin, in the middle Congo River and drainages of the Ubangi, Uele (Ref. 2, 55074), Itimbiri (Ref. 2, 55074, 106290), Aruwimi (Ref. 106290) and Lomami (Ref. 106245). Sarotherodon galilaeus is also reported from the Luilaka River (Ruki drainage, middle Congo River basin) (Ref. 93897). Five subspecies are recognized: Sarotherodon galilaeus borkuanus, Sarotherodon galilaeus boulengeri, Sarotherodon galilaeus galilaeus, Sarotherodon galilaeus multifasciatus, Sarotherodon galilaeus sanagaensis.
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 16.3, range 16 - ? cm
Max length : 39.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 57961); max. published weight: 1.6 kg (Ref. 2756)
(total): 15 - 17;
soft rays: 9 - 11;
Vertebrae: 28 - 30. Diagnosis: 21-25 rakers on lower limb of first arch; length of lower pharyngeal jaw < 43.5% of head length; 29-32 scales in lateral line series; head length 32.5-39% of standard length; toothed area of lower pharyngeal jaw broad > 2-3 times in keel length (Ref. 81260).
Has been known to occur at 9°C; occasionally form schools; territorial (Ref. 2). Adults prefer open waters but juveniles and breeding adults are found inshore (Ref. 4999). Often associated with beds of submerged vegetation in Sudd lakes; feed on algae and fine organic debris; bi-parental mouthbrooder (Ref. 28714). Lacks marked sexual dichromatism when sexually active; forms temporary pair bonds (Ref. 81260). Maximum size recorded at 41.0 cm TL (Ref. 2756).
The initiative throughout courting and mating is taken predominantly by the female; female mainly responsible for the excavation of nest and defending mating territory. Pair-formation exists and is dissolved as soon as the eggs are in the parental mouth. Mouth brooding is reportedly biparental.
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. 126983)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial