Animalia > Chordata > Actinopterygii > Perciformes > Cichlidae > Oreochromis > Oreochromis niloticus

Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia)


Wikipedia Abstract

The Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is a species of tilapia, a cichlid fish native to Africa from Egypt south to East and Central Africa, and as far west as Gambia. It is also native to Israel, and numerous introduced populations exist outside its natural range (e.g. Brazil). It is also commercially known as mango fish, nilotica, or boulti. The first name leads to easy confusion with another tilapia traded commercially, the mango tilapia (Sarotherodon galilaeus).
View Wikipedia Record: Oreochromis niloticus

Invasive Species

Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia) is a highly invasive fish that plagues a variety of ecosystems, particularly those located in the tropics. Oreochromis niloticus' effective mouthbrooding reproductive strategy allows it to increase in numbers at a rate which, not only crowds native species, but pollutes and unbalances the water column. Oreochromis niloticus is a frequently farmed aquatic species, due to its relative ease of culture and rapid reproduction rates. Most infestations are a result of aquaculture.
View ISSG Record: Oreochromis niloticus


Adult Length [1]  24 inches (60 cm)
Brood Dispersal [3]  On/In self
Litter Size [1]  7,000
Maximum Longevity [1]  9 years
Migration [4]  Potamodromous
Adult Weight [2]  5.291 lbs (2.40 kg)
Diet [4]  Planktivore, Detritivore, Carnivore (Invertebrates)
Female Maturity [1]  1 year


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Florida Peninsula United States Nearctic Tropical and Subtropical Coastal Rivers    
Lower Mississippi United States Nearctic Temperate Floodplain River and Wetlands    
Sabine - Galveston United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    
Upper Mississippi United States Nearctic Temperate Floodplain River and Wetlands    

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Annaiwilundawa Tanks Sanctuary 3452 Sri Lanka      
Bach Ma National Park II 54733 Viet Nam
Kibale National Park II 196202 Uganda
Parc National du Niokolo-Koba National Park II 2046878 Senegal  
Reserva de la Biosfera de Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve VI 1312618 Mexico  

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Ceryle rudis (Pied Kingfisher)1
Schilbe mystus (Silver catfish)1


Clarias gariepinus (Sharptoothed catfish)[8]
Gymnarchus niloticus (Aba)[9]
Homo sapiens (man)[5]
Lates niloticus (Victoria perch)[5]
Pelecanus onocrotalus (Great White Pelican)[5]


Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Burger's Zoo
Calgary Zoo, Garden & Prehistoric Park
Parque Zoologico Huachipa


External References



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
3"Oocyte development and egg envelope formation in Oreochromis niloticus, a mouth-brooding cichlid fish", Francolini M, Lora Lamia C, Bonsignorio D, Cotelli F, Journal of Submicroscopic Cytology and Pathology 2003, 35(1):49-60
4Myers, 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
5Jorrit 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.
6Budeba YL (1999) The role of Caridina Nilotica (Roux) in Lake Victoria fisheries with reference to Lates niloticus (L.). In: Report on the 4th Fisheries Data Working Group (FIDAWOG) Workshop (eds IGCowx & D. Tweddle) pp. 163–74. LVFRP, Jinja, Uganda.
7Njiru, M. (1999) Feeding ecology and population characteristics of Oreochromis niloticus (L.) and trophic interactions in the fish community of Nyanza Gulf, Lake Victoria, Kenya. In: Tweddle, D. and Cowx, I.G. (eds.) Report on third Fisheries Data Working Group (FIDAWOG) workshop held at the Triangle Hotel, Jinja, 29 March to 1 April 1999. Jinja, Fisheries Data Working Group of the Lake Victoria Fisheries Research Project, pp. 68-72. (LVFRP Technical Document,6)
8"Reproductive biology and feeding habits of the catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell) (Pisces: Clariidae) in lake Awassa, Ethiopia", Elias Dadebo, Ethiopian Journal of Science Vol. 23, No. 2 (December 2000), pp. 231-246
9Sagua, V.O. (1986) Preliminary observations on the feeding, habits and reproduction biology of Gymnarchus niloticus from Lake Chad. In: 3rd Annual Conference of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) , 22-25 February, 1983 , Maiduguri, Nigeria.
10Gibson, 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
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License