Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Cichliformes
(Cichlids, convict blennies) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Oreochromis: Latin, aurum = gold + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch (Ref. 45335). More on author: Hilgendorf.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic. Tropical; 3°N - 5°S
Africa: several shallow saline lakes in central Tanzania (Ref. 118630), like lakes Manyara, Eyasi, Kitangiri, Singida and Sulungali (Ref. 5166, 118638).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 8 - ? cm
Max length : 28.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4967)
(total): 12 - 14;
soft rays: 8 - 11;
Vertebrae: 30 - 32. Diagnosis: Slender bodied tilapia, characterised by its small eye and slender head profile with terminal mouth (Ref. 118638); further a narrow preorbital bone and scales of nape, dorsum and belly are very small, the transition from flank to belly scales abrupt, along a curve from base of pectoral fin to vent (Ref. 2). The upper profile of the head is nearly horizontal and in specimens larger than 130 mm total length there is a steep rise from the occiput to the dorsal fin; the caudal peduncle is long and dorsal and anal fins do not reach its posterior end when adpressed (Ref. 2). Live territorial males have jet black dorsal fins and are black underneath but are pinkish-red on flank and caudal fin; under stress, such as following capture, the flanks darken and the whole fish appear dark grey, apart from the reddish tailfin; females and non-territorial males grey/silver with pale ventral region (Ref. 118638).
Found in lakes (Ref. 4967); small bodied forms are present in Lake Eyasi, Lake Manyara and Lake Sulungali, while large bodied forms can be found in Lake Kitangiri and Lake Singida (Ref. 4967, 118638). It is microphagous (Ref. 54840). A maternal mouthbrooder (Ref. 2, 118638). Limited potential as an aquaculture species, it comprises a high proportion of the catch in lakes where it is found (Ref. 118638). IUCN conservation status is endangered, due to restricted distribution, drought and overfishing (Ref. 118638). There is some indication of hybridization with Oreochromis niloticus and O. esculentus (Ref. 118638).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
A maternal mouthbrooder (Ref. 118638). Breeding cycle of about 7 weeks; there is evidence of biparental mouthbrooding (Ref. 2).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
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 (0.00747 - 0.04041), b=3.03 (2.84 - 3.22), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (35 of 100) .