This appears to be a
Tilapia sparrmanii, the banded tilapia, or vlei kurper, is a
widespread and adaptable cichlid fish that is found in warmer
freshwater habitats of southern Africa. They prefer water with ample
plant cover, and occur naturally as far north as DR Congo and
Tanzania. They have been introduced locally in the northern
hemisphere. Younger banded tilapia feed on crustaceans and insect
larvae, while the adults feed on terrestrial and aquatic plants and
other debris. They undertake local migrations and may shoal before and
during spawning time. They guard their own eggs, and although they may
move eggs or fry in the mouth, they are not known to be actual
mouthbrooders like several other tilapia species. This species can
reach a length of 23.5 centimetres (9.3 in) TL and is an important
The fish is invasive in Micronesia
The fish was introduced to Micronesia for aquaculture in 1970. Check out this site for reference and to read more about the introduction.
As reported in Welcomme (1988) aquaculture was the prime reason for
the introductions of tilapias (Table 1). For the vast majority of the
records in DIAS there has been no evaluation of the ecological or
social/economic impact of the introduction (DIAS - Figure A). However,
of the impacts assessed, there were more positive social and economic
impacts reported than negative environmental impacts. Although
Welcomme (1988) and others (Beverton 1992) reported that the majority
of introductions did not result in the establishment of alien species
in the wild, the records in DIAS indicated that most tilapia
introductions to Asia and the Pacific were successful at establishing
reproducing populations (DIAS - Figure B).
Of the species introduced to Asia, O. mossambicus and O. niloticus are
by far the most important from both production and scientific points
of view. These species are now widely distributed in most of Asia and
occur in natural and quasi-natural waters making them a part of the
fish fauna of most of tropical and even sub-tropical Asian aquatic
environments, thus creating an increased concern among some
conservationists and environmental lobby groups (Pethiyagoda, 1994).
Tilapia species tend to hybridize relatively easily, a trait that had
been utilized in tilapia aquaculture development from the very early
stages (Hickling, 1960; 1963). Introgressive hybridization in cultured
stocks (Macaranas et al., 1986) and self-recruiting stocks (De Silva
and Ranasinghe, 1989) of tilapia species, particularly between O.
mossambicus and O. niloticus, have been reported from many countries.
The "red tilapia", a hybrid between strains of O. mossambicus x O.
niloticus is currently considered as important to aquaculture in Asia
(Welcomme and Vidthayanon 1999).