Teleostei (teleosts) > Cichliformes
(Cichlids, convict blennies) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Oreochromis: Latin, aurum = gold + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical
Africa: upper parts of the Congo River (Ref. 54847, 55074), mainly the Upemba region and the Lualaba River to Yangambi and Isangi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Ref. 5166, 52307).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 21.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2)
(total): 14 - 16;
soft rays: 9 - 12;
Vertebrae: 29 - 30. Diagnosis: Oreochromis upembae is a deep-bodied species with a short head, which looks very similar to O. malagarasi (Ref. 52307). It is distinguished by following characters: mature males with a bifid and tuberculate genital papilla, prolonged into a cream-coloured tassel in breeding males, in which the edges of the dorsal and caudal fins are orange-coloured or red; two to four dark blotches mid-laterally from operculum to caudal peduncle and a blotch on top of caudal peduncle, distinctive in that the blotches are rather large and vaguely outlined and persist in adults; caudal fin with dark, narrow, vertical stripes or series of spots, only a little less regular than in O. niloticus; caudal rays rather densely scaled to near edge; caudal peduncle deep; vertebrae 29-30; scales in lateral line series 28-31; dorsal spines XIV-XVI, soft rays 11-13; outer teeth bicuspid, in some fishes becoming unicuspid by wear; lower pharyngeal teeth fine, the tooth area with rounded lateral lobes, the blade 1.15-1.5 times the medial length of the toothed area; lower gill-rakers 20-25; and interorbital width 38.8-43.3% length of head (Ref. 2). Among the tasselled tilapias this most resembles O. malagarasi, which differs in having a less scaly caudal fin, the scales usually confined to the basal parts of the rays, and in lacking the regular dark stripes or series of spots on the caudal; and in O. malagarasi the range of dorsal spines is higher, XVI-XVII (Ref. 2).
A maternal mouthbrooder (Ref. 52307).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
The female broods the young and eggs in the mouth in the shelter of sandbanks in the Congo River at Yangambi (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. 126983)
Threat to humans
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