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Coptodon zillii  (Gervais, 1848)

Redbelly tilapia
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Coptodon zillii
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Cichlidae (Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae

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

Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 9.0; dH range: 5 - 20; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 7 m (Ref. 4967).   Tropical; 11°C - 36°C (Ref. 3); 35°N - 9°S, 17°W - 36°E

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

Africa and Eurasia: South Morocco, Sahara, Niger-Benue system, rivers Senegal, Sassandra, Bandama, Boubo, Mé, Comoé, Bia, Ogun and Oshun, Volta system, Chad-Shari system (Ref. 5163), middle Congo River basin in the Ubangi, Uele (Ref. 55074), Itimbiri, Aruwimi (Ref. 55074, 106290), Lindi-Tshopo (Ref. 106290) and Wagenia Falls (Ref. 106245) in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lakes Albert (Ref. 55074) and Turkana, Nile system and Jordan system (Ref. 5163). Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 7.0, range 20 - ? cm
Max length : 40.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 34290); common length : 30.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 34290); max. published weight: 300.00 g (Ref. 3799); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 164)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 13 - 16; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-14; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8 - 10. Diagnosis: upper profile of head not convex; lower pharyngeal bone about as long as broad, and with anterior lamella shorter than toothed area; median pharyngeal teeth not broadened; dorsal fin with 14-16 spines and 10-14 soft rays (mean 15, 12); 8-11 lower gillrakers; dark longitudinal band appears on flanks when agitated; no bifurcated dark vertical bars on flanks; dorsal and caudal fins not or feebly blotched (Ref. 53405). Body brownish-olivaceous with an iridescent blue sheen; lips bright green (Ref. 34290, 53405). Chest pinkish (Ref. 34290). Dorsal, caudal and anal fins brownish-olivaceous with yellow spots, dorsal and anal fins outlined by narrow orange band; "tilapian" spot large, extending from last spine to 4th soft ray and always bordered by yellow band (Ref. 34290, 53405). Specimens 2-14 cm SL with completely yellowish or greyish caudal fin without dots, but tend to develop a greyish caudal fin with dots of increasing size during development; above 14 cm SL, this species has greyish caudal fins with dots on entire caudal fin (Ref. 57660).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Highly adaptable and tolerates varying water qualities; can be found across a wide range of temperatures and salinities, even surviving marine conditions (Ref. 52307). Occasionally form schools; mainly diurnal. Prefer shallow, vegetated areas (Ref. 4967). Fry are common in marginal vegetation and juveniles are found in the seasonal floodplain. Herbivorous (Ref. 52307), feed on water plants and epiphyton, and some invertebrates. Substrate spawner (Ref. 28714, 52307). Parental care is very thorough and undertaken by both parties; large specimens may deposit 1000 eggs per spawn, preferably on hard surfaces; hatching occurs about 96 hours post spawning, and juveniles swim freely about 4-6 days later (Ref. 52307). Larvae develop in close association with substrate. Extended temperature range 6.5 - 42.5 °C, natural temperature range 10.5 - 36°C (Ref. 3).

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

Spawns in lake bottoms with pebbles or sand and abundant vegetation (Ref. 3). Lays adhesive eggs on the substratum which are guarded by both parents (Ref. 6298). Reported to deposit and guard eggs in shallow nest (Ref. 12069). Produces up to 1000 eggs (Ref. 1672).

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

Dunz, A.R. and U.K. Schliewen, 2013. Molecular phylogeny and revised classification of the haplotilapiine cichlid fishes formerly referred to as "Tilapia". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 68(1):64-80. (Ref. 93285)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Potential pest

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Aquaculture: production; ; publication : search) | FishSource |


Special reports

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Internet sources

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01622 (0.01365 - 0.01927), b=2.98 (2.93 - 3.03), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.5   ±0.1 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.2-0.5; tm=2-3; tmax=7; Fec = 715 - 1,147).
Prior r = 0.68, 2 SD range = 0.26 - 1.77, log(r) = -0.39, SD log(r) = 0.48, Based on: 7 K, 3 tgen, 1 tmax, 2 Fec records
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.