Tilapia sparrmanii, Banded tilapia : fisheries, aquaculture, gamefish

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Tilapia sparrmanii Smith, 1840

Banded tilapia
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Tilapia sparrmanii
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Cichliformes (Cichlids, convict blennies) > Cichlidae (Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Tilapia: Bechuana, African native thiape = fish (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - ? ; dH range: 10 - ?; potamodromous; depth range 5 - ? m (Ref. 3). Tropical; 22°C - 25°C (Ref. 2059); 10°S - 30°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: middle Congo River basin in the Kwilu (Ref. 11970), Kwango, Kasai drainage (Ref. 11970, 55074) and Lomami (Ref. 106245); upper Congo River basin including the Lualaba, upper Lualaba, Lufira, Upemba region, Luvua, Lake Mweru, Luapula (Ref. 55074) and Bangweulu (Ref. 5163, 95585); Cunene, Okavango, Lake Ngami, Zambezi, Limpopo, northern tributaries of the Orange River (Ref. 5163, 11970), Cuvelai (Ref. 120641), upper Cuanza, Sabi, Lundi and Lake Malawi (Ref. 5163).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 23.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27292); max. published weight: 445.00 g (Ref. 7248)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 13 - 15. Diagnosis: A small, deep-bodied species with a narrow head and small strong jaws (Ref. 118638). Often appearing a rich deep yellow with wide dark brown bands, and red/orange fin margins; mature adults are very dark with prominent black stripes and a patch of scarlet scales behind the head (Ref. 118638).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in widely diverse habitat (Ref. 3); it favors areas where plant cover exists along the edges of rivers, lakes or swamps (Ref. 3), but tends to be confined to shallow weedy areas, so it does not build up large populations in deep lakes (Ref. 118638). It is reported to be cold-confined (Ref. 118638). Adults are omnivorous, feeding on animal and plant matter (Ref. 118638), preferentially on filamentous algae, aquatic macrophytes and vegetable matter of terrestrial origin like leaves, plants, etc. (Ref. 3). Juveniles feed on small crustaceans and midge larvae (Ref. 6465). It is forage fish for bass (Ref. 7248). A substrate spawner (Ref. 52307, 118638). Male and female form pairs to rear the young (Ref. 118638). It undertakes seasonal upstream migration and breeds before and during these migrations (Ref. 13337, 52307). A relatively small species, so unlikely to play much of a role in capture fisheries, but cultured in ponds in Njombe, Tanzania, and apparently stocked into Lake Kiungululu, Tanzania, where it is not presently exploited (Ref. 118638).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

A substrate spawner (Ref. 118638). Male spreads his milt over the cluster of eggs which are deposited on the bottom or even attached to the branches of aquatic weeds; parents guard the eggs; eggs and fry may be moved into the mouth to alternative sites during hatching operations but there is no evidence of actual mouth brooding (Ref. 13337).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Kullander, Sven O. | Collaborators

Teugels, G.G. and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1991. Tilapia. p. 482-508. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4. (Ref. 5163)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 19 June 2018


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO - Publication: search | FishSource |

More information

Common names
Maturity for Tilapia sparrmanii' title='Maturity for Tilapia sparrmanii' target='_blank'>Maturity
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Alien/Invasive Species database | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.5078   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01479 (0.00823 - 0.02660), b=2.93 (2.78 - 3.08), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  2.7   ±0.28 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 2.5 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Assuming K>0.3; tm=1).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (14 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.