Tilapia sparrmanii 

Scope: Global & Pan-Africa
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Cichlidae

Scientific Name: Tilapia sparrmanii Smith, 1840
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Banded Tilapia, Banded Bream, Sparrman's Bream
Chromis ovalis Steindachner, 1866
Chromis sparrmanii (Smith, 1840)
Chromis sparrmanni (Smith, 1840) [orth. error]
Chromys moffatii Castelnau, 1861
Chromys sparmanni (Smith, 1840) [orth. error]
Tilapia deschauenseei Fowler, 1931
Tilapia fouloni Boulenger, 1905
Tilapia melanopleura (non Duméril, 1861)
Tilapia ovalis (Steindachner, 1866)
Tilapia sparmani Smith, 1840 [orth. error]
Tilapia sparmanni Smith, 1840 [orth. error]
Tilapia sparrmani Smith, 1840 [orth. error]
Tilapia sparrmanni Smith, 1840 [orth. error]

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-09-18
Assessor(s): Tweddle, D., Coetzer, W., Bills, R., Weyl, O. & Chakona, A.
Reviewer(s): Raimondo, D.
Contributor(s): Kazembe, J., Marshall, B. & Moelants, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Van Der Colff, D.

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. Although currently it is considered Least Concern for East Africa, there is potential for a future impact from the ongoing habitat degradation that is taking place in many streams in Malawi in addition to the threat of over fishing (using small meshed nets in shallow waters). First assessed in 2010 as Least Concern, this species status was re-evaluated during the Southern African Freshwater Fish assessment in 2016 and new information has not resulted in a change in status. Close monitoring is still recommended.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Tilapia sparrmanii is known from the Central and southern part of Africa: Shaba, This species is known from upper Kasaï, This species is known from upper Kwango, This species is known from upper Cuanza, Cunene, Okavango, Lake Ngami, Zambezi, Limpopo, Sabi, Lundi, northern tributaries of the Orange River, Lake Malawi, the upper Congo River basin, and from the Bangweulu-Luapula-Mweru system. It has been introduced in several countries. The introductions to Tanzania and USA are known, but Tilapia sparrmanii has not established in these countries. It has probably also been introduced to Libya, Egypt, Chad and Sudan.

Central Africa: This species is found in Kasai River in DRC.

Eastern Africa: In this region it is only known from the Lake Malawi catchment where it is common in the lower reaches of northern and central Lake Malawi catchment streams. It has not been recorded south of Chia lagoon (Nkhotakota) or anywhere in the Shire River.

Southern Africa: It is present in the Zambezi system and Lake Malawi streams south to the Orange River and KwaZulu-Natal (Skelton 2001). Extensively translocated south of the Orange system.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Botswana; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal); Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Upper depth limit (metres):5
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is widespread and abundant. It has been increasing in Lake Kariba in the last 10-15 years.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Tilapia sparrmanii is a benthopelagic, potamodromous species that occurs in a widely diverse habitat; it favours areas where plant cover exists along the edges of rivers, lakes or swamps and prefers shallow sheltered waters and does not colonize the open water of large lakes. Adults feed preferentially on filamentous algae, aquatic macrophytes and vegetable matter of terrestrial origin (leaves, plants, etc.) (Philippart and Ruwet 1982). Juveniles feed small crustaceans and midge larvae (de Moor and Bruton 1988). It is used as a forage fish for bass (Skelton 1993). This species undertakes seasonal upstream migration and breeds before and during these migrations (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988). The male spreads his milt over the cluster of eggs which are deposited on the bottom or even attached to the branches of aquatic weeds. The parents guard the eggs. Eggs and fry may be moved into the mouth to alternative sites during hatching operations but there is no evidence of actual mouth brooding. Newly hatched fry attach to the substrate by head glands and wriggle constantly for aeration. Fry are free-swimming after 7-8 days but remain in a shoal guarded by parents for several weeks (Skelton 2001).
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Tilapia sparrmanii is a species that is commercially used for aquaculture.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Tilapia sparrmanii is a species that is commercially used for aquaculture, and there is potential for overfishing.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species has some protection in reserves in southern Africa. Population trends should be monitored.

Citation: Tweddle, D., Coetzer, W., Bills, R., Weyl, O. & Chakona, A. 2017. Tilapia sparrmanii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T181777A99504007. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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