Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Common Tilapia (introduced)
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2




Fig 3




 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Order : Perciformes
Family : CICHLIDAE
Species : Oreochromis mossambicus
Maximum Length : 40 cm

Originally from East Africa, this Cichlid has been introduced to many corners of the globe as a food source. It is a hardy species, able to survive in waters with a large pH range, a high level of pollution, and brackish waters with varied salinity. Introduced populations are most successful in canals, ponds and still or slow moving inlets of lakes and reservoirs.

The species is omnivorous and will feed on algae, water plants, insects, fish fry and organic detritus.

The body is laterally compressed, the head and mouth large and the lips pronounced.

The male (pictured here) is dark brown to black with red-edged fins and a yellow-white throat and is solitary in habit. Females are plain grey or brown, and frequently shoal. Males excavate a circular burrow which they defend vigorously and to which they attempt to entice females to breed. The young fry are brooded in the mouth as protection from predators.

The species has been introduced to Indochina, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia.


Fig 1 : Female Tilapia in a flooded storm drain, Singapore.

Fig 2 : Male Tilapia, near Kranji Reservoir, Singapore.

Fig 3 : Shoal of fully-grown Tilapia in mangrove habitat at Sungei Buloh, Singapore.


References : F1