It is also commercially known as Mango fish or Nilotica.
It is a species of high economic value and is widely introduced outside its natural range; probably next to O. mossambicus it is the most commonly cultured cichlid.
Aquaculture of the Nile tilapia goes back to Ancient Egypt, where it was called ỉn.t and represented by hieroglyph K1 of the Gardiner List. As a logogram, this meant "a Nile tilapia". Used as a determinative (ideogram), it apparently signified Nile tilapia and/or flathead mullets which like the tilapia were commercially important fish, namely in the Nile delta:
If used as part of a phonogram, it represented the sound ỉn:
In modern aquaculture, wild-type Nile tilapia are not too often seen, as their flesh has a dark color that is not much desired by many customers, and because it has a bit of a reputation of being a "trash fish" associated with poverty. On the other hand, they are fast-growing and give good fillets; leucistic ("Red") breeds which have lighter meat have been developed and these are very popular.
Hybrid stock is also used in aquaculture; Nile × Blue Tilapia hybrids are usually rather dark, but a light-colored hybrid breed known as "Rocky Mountain White" tilapia is often grown due to its very light flesh and tolerance of low temperatures.
The red-hybrid Oreochromis niloticus is known in Thai language as Pla Thaptim (Thai: ปลาทับทิม), meaning "pomegranate fish".th This type of Tilapia is very popular in Thai cuisine where it is prepared in a variety of ways.
- Baringo tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus baringoensis Trewavas, 1983
- Oreochromis niloticus cancellatus[verification needed] (Nichols, 1923)
- Oreochromis niloticus eduardianus[verification needed] (Boulenger, 1912)
- Oreochromis niloticus filoa Trewavas, 1983
- Oreochromis niloticus niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Oreochromis niloticus sugutae Trewavas, 1983
- Oreochromis niloticus tana Seyoum & Kornfield, 1992
- Oreochromis niloticus vulcani[verification needed] (Trewavas, 1933)
The forms referred to as Oreochromis (or Tilapia) "Nyabikere" and "Kabagole" seem to belong to this species too. An undescribed[verification needed] population found at, for example, Wami River, Lake Manyara and Tingaylanda seems to be a close relative.(Nagl et al. 2001) (Gamster OWNS!)
- Nile perch - a different fish, more common today as "Victoria perch". Both this fish and the Nile tilapia belong to the Perciformes, or perch-like fish.
- "Oreochromis niloticus". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. November 2005 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2005.
- Oreochromis niloticus (TSN 553310). Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved on 11 March 2006.
- Bardach, J.E.; Ryther, J.H. & McLarney, W.O. (1972): Aquaculture. the Farming and Husbandry of Freshwater and Marine Organisms. John Wiley & Sons.
- Nagl, Sandra; Tichy, Herbert; Mayer, Werner E.; Samonte, Irene E.; McAndrew, Brendan J. & Klein, Jan (2001): Classification and Phylogenetic Relationships of African Tilapiine Fishes Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 20(3): 361–374. doi:10.1006/mpev.2001.0979