Male in the aquarium
A male of Oreochromis niloticus in breeding coloration in the aquarium of Rico Morgenstern [Germany]. This specimen is referrable to the nominate subspecies O. n. niloticus. Photo by Rico Morgenstern. determiner Anton Lamboj








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Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Nile tilapia; Tilapia.

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Original description as Labrus niloticus:


  • Linnaeus, Carolus. 1758. "Systema Naturae, Ed. X.". Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. 10 i-ii + pp. 1-824 (crc00310)

Synonyms (1):


Conservation: Oreochromis niloticus is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (LC) least concern (2018). Oreochromis niloticus is unlikely to become endangered, except perhaps for particular populations and subspecies of limited or local distributions. In general, it may be rather regarded as a thread for other species due to the almost worldwide dispersion by man. Although its qualities as a food fish and its suitability for aquaculture are undeniable, the invasion of natural waters outside the native range – be it by accidental escape from fish farms or by intentional stocking – causes several threats. In particular, the alien species are competitors of native fishes for food and breeding sites, impacts on water quality are also recorded. In African waters, native Oreochromis are additionally threatened by potential hybridization with the introduced species (Canonico & al 2005).