provided by World Register of Marine Species
Occurs at temperatures ranging from 8°-42°C (Ref. 3). Lives in warm, weedy pools of sluggish streams, canals, and ponds (Ref. 5723). Is mainly diurnal. May form schools. Omnivorous, feeds on almost anything from algae to insects. Can be reared under hypersaline conditions (Ref. 4537). Marketed fresh and frozen (Ref. 9987).
provided by FAO species catalogs
Body compressed; caudal peduncle longer than deep.
A knob-like protuberance present behind upper jaw on dorsal surface of snout. Upper jaw length shows sexual dimorphism, and mouth of male larger than that of female.
First gill arch with 20 to 22 gillrakers.
Lateral line interrupted.
Spinous and soft ray parts of dorsal fin continuous. Dorsal fin with 15 to 18 spines and 10 to 13 soft rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 9-10 rays. Caudal fin truncated.
Colour in spawning season, pectoral, dorsal and caudal fins becoming reddish; colour male shows much brighter orange tail than female.
provided by Fishbase
Diagnosis: snout long; forehead with relatively large scales, starting with 2 scales between the eyes followed by 9 scales up to the dorsal fin (Ref. 3058, 3060). Adult males develop a pointed, duckbill-like snout (Ref. 52307) due to enlarged jaws, often causing the upper profile to become concave (Ref. 2, 7248, 12524, 13337, 52307), but upper profile convex in smaller specimens (Ref. 1870, 6460). Pharyngeal teeth very fine, the dentigerous area with narrow lobes, the blade in adults longer than dentigerous area; 28-31 vertebrae; 3 anal spines; 14-20 lower gill-rakers; genital papilla of males simple or with a shallow distal notch; caudal fin not densely scaled; female and non-breeding male silvery with 2-5 mid-lateral blotches and some of a more dorsal series; breeding male black with white lower parts of head and red margins to dorsal and caudal fins (Ref. 2). Description: moderately deep-bodied (Ref. 7248, 52307), but very variable according to food availability (Ref. 5214). Head profile straight in juveniles and females (Ref. 7248). Mouth large (Ref. 1870, 2989, 53262, 52307, 54167). Lower jaw prominent; lips thick (Ref. 3058, 3060). Maxillary ending between nostril and eye in females and immature males (Ref. 2), in breeding males (Ref. 2) mouth reaching to below anterior border of eye (Ref. 1870, 2989, 53262, 54167, 54759) or a little beyond (Ref. 1870, 2989, 53262, 54167). Eye with yellow ring around pupil (Ref. 57960). Otoliths: sulcus with nearly straight crista inferior at the transition between ostium and cauda (thus no ventralward widening of the ostium is present) (Ref. 56279). 2-3 series of scales on cheek (Ref. 2, 552, 1870, 2989, 3058, 3060, 6460, 53262, 54167). Scales cycloid (Ref. 1870, 2989, 3058, 4904, 5728, 53262, 54167). Scales on belly small, breast scales even smaller (Ref. 3058). Large scales on opercle (Ref. 1870, 53262), in 3 rows (Ref. 54759). 17-23 scales in upper part of lateral line, 10-17 in lower part (Ref. 1870, 2989, 3058, 54167). 9-12 predorsal scales (Ref. 57928). 15 precaudal vertebrae; 15-16 caudal vertebrae; 12-13 pairs of pleural ribs; 2 pairs of epineurals; 6 pairs of epipleurals; ventral vertebral apothysis on third vertebra (Ref. 57928). Gill-rakers short (Ref. 1870, 2989, 5214, 6465, 12524, 13337, 54167) and thick (Ref. 54167). Dorsal fin spines subequal from the sixth; dorsal soft rays a little longer than longest spines (Ref. 54167). Last dorsal spine the longest (Ref. 1870, 54167). Soft part of dorsal and anal fin long and pointed (Ref. 1870, 3058, 3060, 4904, 53262), especially in males (Ref. 44586). Dorsal fin with 25-28 pterygiophores (Ref. 57928). Pectoral fin (nearly) as long as head (Ref. 1870, 2989, 53262, 54167), pointed (Ref. 1870, 6460, 53262, 54759), reaching to vent (Ref. 6460, 54167) or to a little beyond origin of anal fin (Ref. 1870, 2989, 53262, 54167, 54759). 4-6 scales between bases of pectoral and pelvic fins (Ref. 2). Anal fin with 11-12 pterygiophores (Ref. 57928). Outer rays of pelvic fins slightly produced, reaching to vent (Ref. 1870, 54167) or beyond origin of anal (Ref. 1870, 2989). Caudal fin scaly in the basal half (Ref. 1870, 6460, 53262), the angles sometimes rounded (Ref. 2, 54167). Central caudal fin skeleton with 3 epurals, 5 hypurals and 2 pairs of uroneurals (Ref. 57928). No genital tassel (Ref. 55077). Coloration: basic melanin pattern of 2 horizontal and 6-7 vertical bars never fully realized; more commonly, at least in preserved specimens, females and sexually inactive males have no bands, but may have the intersection points of the facultative bands represented by 3-4 upper and 2-5 mid-lateral blotches, or some or all of these may be present (Ref. 2). Basic body coloration silvery grey (Ref. 2, 52307) to greenish grey, sometimes a more bluish colored head (Ref. 52307). Belly greyish (Ref. 4904, 5214, 54167). Spiny part of dorsal fin light with dark mottling (Ref. 3058). Soft dorsal and anal, and caudal and pelvic fins blackish (Ref. 2989, 3058, 3060, 54167). Pectoral fins colorless (Ref. 3058, 3060). Indistinct, dark opercular spot present (Ref. 1870, 2989, 3058, 3060, 53262, 54167, 54759). Vertical fins uniform (Ref. 54167), blackish with more or less distinct whitish spots(Ref. 552) or with large or small, fused or non-fused, dark spots on a pale background (Ref. 6460, 54167), given a darker aspect to these fins (Ref. 6460). 3 black blotches present in juveniles but possibly obscured in adults due to the dark body coloration of breeding males or old adults (Ref. 12524, 13337). Female and non-breeding male: dirty yellowish-olive (Ref. 12522) or silvery-gray, with 2-5 mid-lateral blotches and some of a more dorsal series (Ref. 2, 52307). Sometimes a series of more or less distinct spots along the side of the body above and below the upper lateral line (Ref. 54167). Breeding male: uniform dark olive-brown (Ref. 4904, 54167), deep blue-black (Ref. 2) or black, with white lower parts of head (Ref. 2, 4904, 7248, 54167), including throat, lower lips, lower parts of cheeks and opercles, but with a dark blue to black base to the throat (Ref. 12501, 52307), and red margins to dorsal and caudal fins (Ref. 2, 7248, 12522, 12501, 12524, 13337, 52307). Dorsal fin with light coloured spots on membrane between spinous and soft rays (Ref. 12524, 13337). Caudal fin olive-green with light coloured spots on anterior section (Ref. 12524, 13337), but may sometimes appear totally red (Ref. 52307). Tip of dorsal and extremity of caudal lobes yellowish (Ref. 4904, 54167). Anal fin dark gray (Ref. 52307) or olive-green (Ref. 12524, 13337), sometimes with a thin red/orange margin (Ref. 12501, 12522, 12524, 13337, 52307). Unpaired fins normally exhibit greenish to silvery iridescent dots (Ref. 52307). Pectoral fin rays red (Ref. 2). Pectoral and pelvic fins olive-yellow (Ref. 12524). Juveniles: body silvery (Ref. 2, 5214, 6465, 7248, 12524, 13337, 55020, 57960) or olive-brown, light on belly (Ref. 54167). Scales with dark outer edge (Ref. 54167). Usually 5-8 or more indistinct dark cross bars on body (Ref. 2, 6460, 7248, 39866, 54167, 55020), often in addition to the 2 series of blackish spots (Ref. 54167), but with no horizontal stripes (Ref. 2). Dark opercular spot (Ref. 6460, 54167), on posterior dorsal edge of operculum (Ref. 55020). Black spot at base of anterior rays of soft dorsal (Ref. 552, 54167) and 1-2 whitish spots enclosed by dark streaks (Ref. 54167). Oblique streaks (Ref. 6460) or translucent round spots (Ref. 55020) on soft dorsal. Anal dark at base with a light outer half (Ref. 54167), with oblique streaks (Ref. 6460). Caudal dark at base, light in centre, a black outer ridge (Ref. 54167), with 2-3 bars across the fin (Ref. 6460). Tilapia-spot present (Ref. 2, 5214, 6465, 12501), conspicuous in younger fish persisting albeit faintly to 8cm (Ref. 55020). Fins flesh coloured (Ref. 12524, 13337), all except soft dorsal immaculate (Ref. 55020).