Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Prefer quiet, well-vegetated water along river littorals or backwaters, floodplains and swamps. Tolerant of a wide range of temperature (8-41°C) (Ref. 3) and salinity to 19 ppt (Ref. 7248). Form schools; is mainly diurnal. Juveniles feed on plankton. Adults feed mainly on higher plants and also algae, insects and crustaceans. Make excellent eating (Ref. 5214).
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Distribution

Range Description

Tilapia rendalli is known from the Senegal and Niger Rivers, the Congo to Kenya, and much of southern Africa. It has been introduced elsewhere, usually for weed control and aquaculture. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.

Central Africa:Tilapia rendalli is naturally known from the Katanga region and in the Lualaba River up to Kisangani (Stanleyville) – Isangi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. . Tilapia rendalli has been introduced as Tilapia melanopleura, for aquacultural purposes, in 1949, from Yangambi, Democratic Republic of Congo, to Yaoundé, Cameroon. According to Thys van den Audenaerde (1966), who observed a few specimens of T. rendalli at the fisheries station of Melen near Yaoundé, the specimens from Yangambi originated from Katanga. Its use for aquaculture in Cameroon has been abandoned. It has also been introduced, for aquacultural purposes, in 1953, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the fisheries station of Djoumouna, Congo, Congo River basin. According to Moreau et al. (1988) its use in aquaculture was abandoned, but the species probably established in the country. The introduction of T. rendalli into the Lower Guinean part of Congo is confirmed by a museum record originating from a pond at the station of Dimonika. Tilapia rendalli has also been introduced as T. melanopleura, around 1950, from Katanga but originating from the fisheries station of Kinshasa (Leopoldville), Democratic Republic of Congo, to Libreville, Makokou, Lebamba, Franceville and maybe other places in Gabon. Its presence in Gabon is confirmed by museum records from the Ogowe River basin.


Eastern Africa: This species is native to the Lake Tanganyika and Malawi Basins and Lakes Chilwa, Chuita and the Shire River (Malawi). It has been introduced in Lake Victoria and many dams and water systems all over the region, e.g. Pangani drainage (including Lake Jipe), Lake Chala and Athi/Sabaki drainage. Also introduced in the Tana River system (Mann, 1966; 1968) (Seegers et al. 2003). According to Welcomme (1988) and Lever (1996) it was introduced from an unrecorded source into Kenya in 1955 for stocking (Seegers et al. 2003). It has also been introduced and is now well settled in This species is known from upper and middle Akagera system.

Northern Africa: It is recorded from Mauritania.

Southern Africa:This species is known from the Cunene, Okavango, Zambezi system including Lake Malawi, and east coastal rivers south to the Phongolo and coastal lakes to Lake Sibaya (Skelton 2001), as well as estuaries in Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal. It is found in all Zimbabwean rivers although it was probably absent originally from the upper Save-Runde and scarce on the highveld (Junor 1969). Its distribution has been extended by translocations, especially into small farm dams, in an attempt to control plant growth.
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Africa: Kasai drainage (middle Congo River basin), throughout upper Congo River drainage, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Malawi, Zambesi, coastal areas from Zambesi Delta to Natal, Okavango and Cunene (Ref. 5163). Also in the Limpopo (Ref. 55074). Introduced elsewhere usually for weed control and aquaculture. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
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Africa; introduced elsewhere.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 15 - 17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10 - 13; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 9 - 10; Vertebrae: 29
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Size

Maximum size: 450 mm TL
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Max. size

45.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 26550)); max. published weight: 2,500 g (Ref. 26550); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 7248)
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Diagnostic Description

Head and body mid to dark olive-green dorsally, paling over the flanks. Body usually with vertical bars only and scales with a dark basal crescent. Dorsal fin olive-green with a thin red margin and white to grey dark oblique spots on the soft rays; caudal fin spotted on dorsal half and red or yellow on ventral half (Ref. 4967, 34290).
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Ecology

Habitat

Orange River Habitat

The Orange River is the longest watercourse in Southern Africa. Lying south of the Zambezi River, The Orange River rises in the Drakensberg Mountains and flows westward to discharge into the Atlantic Ocean. The river has a length of 2208 kilometres and drains 48 percent of the land area of South Africa and forms the national boundary between that country and Namibia. The total drainage area amounts to 896,368 square kilometres, and the discharge at the mouth is about 11.5 cubic kilometres per annum.

Excessive nutrient loading from overly intensive fertilizer usage in agricultural areas in the Vaal and middle reach Orange River is the major water quality issue in the basin. Headwaters areas of the basin support high endemism in flora and reptiles, while the middle reaches of the basin boast significant endemism in small mammals. Lower reaches of the basin support high endemism in both reptiles and small mammals.

The chief water quality concerns are within South Africa, and more specifically in the densely populated areas of Johannesburg, Pretoria and the Vaal Triangle. Exacerbating the issue are insufficiency and ageing of the wastewater treatment plants of that locale, and the fact that discharges from that high population density region is at a higher elevation than the principal dams along the Orange River; thus, inevitably polluted discharges from the densely populated area reaches these warm termperature reservoirs, which are then poised to generate elevated bacterial levels.

Within the Orange River system 21 different fish taxa have been recorded, most of which are benthopelagic. The three largest benthopelagic native species are: the 170 centimetre (cm) long North African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus), the 122 cm Flathead Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus) and the endemic 92 cm Vaal-Orange Largemouth Yellowfish (Labeobarbus kimberleyensis). Other noteworthy native benthopelagics are the basin endemic 56 cm Orange River Mudfish (Labeo capensis), the 56 cm basin endemic Smallmouth Yellowfish (Labeobarbus aeneus), the 45 cm Redbreast Tilapia (Tilapia rendalli). L aeneus may be useful in algae control in the Orange basin, since this omnivorous bottom feeder consumes considerable algae in its diet. The 146 cm Wild Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio) is the largest introduced benthopelagic alien species in the Orange River.

The largest fish species in the Orange River system is the 200 cm pelagic-neritic Leerfish (Lichia amia), which is a true aquatic apex predator, functioning at trophic level 4,5. Native demersal fish are the 40 cm South African Mullet (Liza richardsonii) and the near endemic 37 cm Rock Catfish (Austroglanis sclateri).

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Zambezi River Benthopelagic Habitat

This taxon is one of a number of benthopelagic species in the Zambezi River system of southern Africa. Benthopelagic river fish are found near the bottom of the water column, feeding on benthos and zooplankton

Nutrient levels in the Zambezi River are relatively low, especially in the upper Zambezi; in that reach, above Victoria Falls, most of the catchment drains Kalahari sands, whose nutrient levels are inherently low due to their aeolian formation; moreover, agricultural fertilizer addition throughout the Zambezi watershed is low, due to the shortage of capital available to farmers of this region.

Nitrate levels (as nitrogen) in the upper Zambezi are typically in the range of .01 to .03 milligrams per liter. Correspondingly electrical conductivity of the upper Zambezi is on the order of 75 micro-S per centimeter, due to the paucity of ion content. From the Luangwa River downstream nitrate levels elevate to .10 to .18 milligrams per liter, and electrical conductivity rises to a range of two to four times the upper Zambezi levels. Not surprisingly, pH, calcium ion concentration, bicarbonate and electrical conductivity are all higher in portions of the catchment where limestone soils predominate compared to granite.

There are a total of 190 known fish species present in the Zambezi River, including eel and shark taxa. The largest native benthopelagic fish in the Zambezi are the 170 cm North African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), the 146 cm common carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio), the 150 cm Indo-Pacific tarpon (Megalops cyprinoides) and the introduced 120 cm rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

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Kunene River Benthopelagic Habitat

This taxon is one of a number of benthopelagic species in the Kunene River system. Benthopelagic river fish are found near the bottom of the water column, feeding on benthos and zooplankton

The Kunene River rises in the central highlands of Angola, and thence flows southward to form a major element of the border between Namibia and Angola before the final discharge is to the Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of the Angola-Benguela Front. The geometry of the Kunene riparian zone is distinctly narrow, with rugged arid landscapes persisting on both sides of the river over long distances, and a virtual lack of any extensive floodplains.

There is a relatively high rate of endemism of aquatic biota in the Kunene. Proposed expansion of dams on the Kunene poses a threat to biodiversity in the river, especially regarding proposals at Epupa Falls. However, a greater threat to the Kunene is a plan by Angola to greatly expand withdrawal of water from the river to expand irrigated agriculture by 600,000 hectares; not only will this action significantly diminish downriver flow rates, but also add considerable nitrate, herbicide and pesticide substances to the river.

The catchment area of the Kunene Basin is approximately 106,560 square kilometres (41,143 square miles) in area, of which 14 100 km² (13%) lies within Namibian territory. Its mean annual discharge is 174 cubic meters per second (6145 cubic feet per second) at its mouth on the Atlantic. Water quality of the Kunene River is relatively high, since the human population density and agricultural intensity is relatively low, including a conspicuous absence of overgrazing. However, bacteria and other microbial pathogens pose a material threat to Kunene water quality, due to the fact that only a small fraction of the domestic wastewater in Angola is treated;

Regarding freshwater bivalves, the central reaches of the Kunene manifest particularly high endemism, similar to parts of the Okavango, Chobe, Upper Zambezi and Etosha Pan basins. The bivalve Etheria elliptica, which also occurs in the Upper Zambezi, is a freshwater mussel in the family Etheriidae, known from a limited extent of the central Kunene River in Angola. It is threatened by proposed dam construction on the Kunene.

There are several endemic benthopelagic fishes in the Kunene River: the eight centimeter (cm) long Kunene dwarf happy (Orthochromis machadoi); the 14 cm benthopelagic Namib happy (Thoracochromis buysi); and the seven cm benthopelagic Kunene kneria (Kneria maydelli).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Tilapia rendalli is a benthopelagic species that prefers quiet, well-vegetated water along river littorals or backwaters, floodplains and swamps. It is has a wide range of temperature tolerance (8-41°C) (Philippart and Ruwet 1982) and salinity to 19 ppt (Skelton 1993). It forms schools and is mainly diurnal. The juveniles feed on plankton, while adults mainly feed on higher plants and also algae, insects and crustaceans. This species prefers a sloping spawning ground near the marginal fringe of vegetation (Philippart and Ruwet 1982). It builds nest in shallow water where both parents guard the eggs and young.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; freshwater; brackish; depth range 3 - 8 m (Ref. 58302)
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Depth range based on 3 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1.5 - 10

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1.5 - 10
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Trophic Strategy

Remains in the inshore zone of Lake Tanganyika and has not colonized the open waters of the lake. Frequency of occurence in Caprivi: frequently in sandy streams, occasionally on rocky streams, abundant in standing deep water, common in shallow swamps, and frequently in shallow flood plains (Ref. 037065).
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Associations

Known prey organisms

Tilapia rendalli (Tilapia rendalli (cichlid fish)) preys on:
epiphytic algae
algae
detritus
macrophytes
zooplankton
Insecta
Diptera
Sarortherdon macrochir
Haplochromis darlingi

Based on studies in:
Africa, Lake McIlwaine (Lake or pond)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • B. E. Marshall, The fish of Lake McIlwaine. In Lake McIlwaine: the eutrophication and recovery of a tropical man-made lake (J. A. Thornton, Ed.) Vol 49 Monographia Biologicae, D. W. Junk Publishers, The Hague, pp. 156-188, from p. 180 (1982).
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Known predators

Tilapia rendalli (Tilapia rendalli (cichlid fish)) is prey of:
Hydrocynus vittatus

Based on studies in:
Africa, Lake McIlwaine (Lake or pond)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • B. E. Marshall, The fish of Lake McIlwaine. In Lake McIlwaine: the eutrophication and recovery of a tropical man-made lake (J. A. Thornton, Ed.) Vol 49 Monographia Biologicae, D. W. Junk Publishers, The Hague, pp. 156-188, from p. 180 (1982).
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Diseases and Parasites

Paradilepis Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Eye Infection (Diplostomum sp.). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Clinostomum Infestation (metacercaria). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Cichlidogyrus Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Anchor worm Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Acanthogyrus Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Prefers a sloping spawning ground near the marginal fringe of vegetation (Ref. 3). Builds nest in shallow water where both parents guard the eggs and young.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Tilapia rendalli

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Tilapia rendalli

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 39
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Awaïss, A., Azeroual, A., Getahun, A., Hanssens, M., Lalèyè, P., Marshall, B., Moelants, T., Ntakimazi, G. & Tweddle, D.

Reviewer/s
Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P., Paugy, D., Zaiss, R., Fishar, M.R.A & Brooks, E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a wide distribution, with no known major widespread threats. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for central, eastern and southern Africa. In north Africa, the species is recorded from Mauritania, but more information is needed on the species distribution and status within the region, and it is therefore categorised as Data Deficient.

History
  • 2006
    Least Concern
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Least Concern
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Population

Population
This species is thought to be widespread and abundant.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
The major threats to this species are increased fishing pressure, and loss of vegetated margins and floodplains around rivers and lakes due to agriculture extension.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species occurs in many reserves over its wide range.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Redbreast tilapia

The redbreast tilapia, Coptodon rendalli, is a species of fish in the Cichlidae family. It is found widely in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its natural habitats are freshwater lakes and freshwater marshes.[2] It is known as redbreast kurper in South Africa.[3]

References

  1. ^ Dunz, A.R. & Schliewen, U.K. (2013): Molecular phylogeny and revised classification of the haplotilapiine cichlid fishes formerly referred to as Tilapia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Available online 29 March 2013 doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2013.03.015
  2. ^ a b A. Awaïss, A. Azeroual, A. Getahun, M. Hanssens, P. Lalèyè, B. Marshall, T. Moelants, G. Ntakimazi & D. Tweddle (2010). "Tilapia rendalli". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  3. ^ Big Bass
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