Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Perciformes > Cichlidae > Coptodon > Coptodon zillii

Coptodon zillii (Zilli's tilapia; Zill's tilapia; Zille's cichlid; Redbelly tilapia; Mango fish; Cichlid)

Synonyms: Acerina zillei; Acerina zillii; Chromis andreae; Chromis caeruleomaculatus; Chromis coeruleomaculatus; Chromis faidherbii; Chromis melanopleura; Chromis menzalensis; Chromis tristrami; Chromis zillii; Coptodon zillei; Coptodus zillei; Coptodus zillii; Glyphisidon zillei; Glyphisidon zillii; Haligenes tristrami; Sarotherodon zillei; Sarotherodon zillii; Tilapia caeruleomaculatus; Tilapia faidherbi; Tilapia melanopleura; Tilapia menzalensis; Tilapia multiradiata; Tilapia shariensis; Tilapia sparrmani multiradiata; Tilapia tristrami; Tilapia zilii; Tilapia zillei; Tilapia zilli; Tilapia zillii
Language: Adioukrou; Aizi; Arabic; El Molo; Ewe; Finnish; French; Ga; German; Hausa; Hebrew; Igbo; Ijo; Japanese; Jula; Kanuri; Kim; Krio; M; Mandarin Chinese; Mòoré; Nupe; Russian; Spanish; Swahili; Turkana; Wolof; Yoruba; Zande

Wikipedia Abstract

The redbelly tilapia (Tilapia zillii) is a species of fish in the cichlid family. It is found widely in Africa and the Middle East, but has also been introduced outside its native range. It is an important food fish and sometimes seen in the aquarium trade. Its natural habitats are marginal vegetation and seasonal floodplain streams, lakes, and ponds. Recent authorites place it in Coptodon (rather that Tilapia) as Coptodon zillii.
View Wikipedia Record: Coptodon zillii

Invasive Species

In its native, tropical range, Tilapia zillii is important as a food fish as well as for aquaculture. Tilapia zillii provided 70% of Egypt's fish production, however outside its native range, this freshwater fish has the ability to establish itself even in highly salinated waters, only being held back by a low tolerance to cold water. Often introduced for use in aquatic weed control, Tilapia zilli can alter native benthic communities through the elimination of macrophytes and exhibits aggressive behaviour towards other fish species.
View ISSG Record: Coptodon zillii


Adult Weight [2]  165 grams
Female Maturity [1]  1 year 4 months
Male Maturity [2]  1 year 4 months
Diet [3]  Omnivore
Adult Length [1]  16 inches (40 cm)
Brood Dispersal [1]  In a nest
Brood Egg Substrate [1]  Psammophils
Brood Guarder [1]  Yes
Litter Size [1]  4,600
Maximum Longevity [1]  7 years
Migration [3]  Potamodromous


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Appalachian Piedmont United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Colorado Mexico, United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    
East Texas Gulf United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Florida Peninsula United States Nearctic Tropical and Subtropical Coastal Rivers    
Gila Mexico, United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    
Hawaiian Islands United States Oceania Oceanic Islands    
Southern California Coastal - Baja California Mexico, United States Nearctic Xeric Freshwaters and Endorheic Basins    

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Foret Classee de la Mare Aux Hippopotames Bird Reserve IV 37906 Burkina Faso  
Kibale National Park II 196202 Uganda
Omo Strict Natural Reserve Forest Reserve 328086 Nigeria  

Prey / Diet

Boiga dendrophila (Gold-ringed Cat Snake, Mangrove Snake)[4]
Lagarosiphon major (oxygen-weed)[4]
Microcystis aeruginosa[4]
Povilla adusta (African burrowing mayfly)[4]


Bagrus bajad (Silver catfish)[4]
Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus (Mudfish)[4]
Clarias anguillaris (Mudfish)[4]
Elops lacerta (Atlantic ladyfish)[4]
Haliaeetus vociferoides (Madagascar Fish Eagle)[5]
Hampala macrolepidota (Carp)[4]
Hepsetus cuvieri (African pike)[4]
Homo sapiens (man)[4]
Hydrocynus forskahlii (Tigerfish)[4]
Hydrocynus vittatus (Tigerfish)[4]
Micropterus salmoides (Northern largemouth bass)[4]
Mormyrops anguilloides (Cornish jack)[4]
Polypterus endlicherii (Bichir)[4]
Protopterus aethiopicus (marbled lungfish)[4]


Parasitized by 
Acanthogyrus tilapiae[6]
Cichlidogyrus aegypticus[6]
Cichlidogyrus anthemocolpos[6]
Cichlidogyrus arthracanthus[6]
Cichlidogyrus cirratus[6]
Cichlidogyrus cubitus[6]
Cichlidogyrus digitatus[6]
Cichlidogyrus dionchus[6]
Cichlidogyrus ergensi[6]
Cichlidogyrus gallus[6]
Cichlidogyrus halli[6]
Cichlidogyrus ornatus[6]
Cichlidogyrus sclerosus[6]
Cichlidogyrus thurstonae[6]
Cichlidogyrus tiberianus[6]
Cichlidogyrus tilapiae[6]
Cichlidogyrus tubicirrus <Unverified Name>[6]
Cichlidogyrus vexus[6]
Cichlidogyrus yanni[6]
Clinostomum complanatum[6]
Clinostomum metacercaria <Unverified Name>[6]
Clinostomum tilapiae <Unverified Name>[6]
Enterogyrus cichlidarum[6]
Euclinostomum heterostomum <Unverified Name>[6]
Goezia nonipapillata <Unverified Name>[6]
Gyrodactylus aegypticus <Unverified Name>[6]
Gyrodactylus cichlidarum[6]
Polyacanthorhynchus kenyensis[6]
Posthodiplostomum nanum <Unverified Name>[6]
Scutogyrus longicornis[6]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre

Range Map

Africa and Eurasia: South Morocco, Sahara, Niger-Benue system, rivers Senegal, Sassandra, Bandama, Boubo, Mé, Comoé, Bia, Ogun and Oshun, Volta system, Chad-Shari system (Ref. 5163), middle Congo River basin in the Ubangi, Uele, Ituri and Itimbiri (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Lakes Albert (Ref. 55074) and Turkana, Nile system and the Jordan system (Ref. 5163). Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Frimpong, E.A., and P. L. Angermeier. 2009. FishTraits: a database of ecological and life-history traits of freshwater fishes of the United States. Fisheries 34:487-495.
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
4Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
5del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
6Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access