Oreochromis aureus

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Oreochromis aureus
Blue Tilapia.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Tribe: Tilapiini
Genus: Oreochromis
Species: O. aureus
Binomial name
Oreochromis aureus
(Steindachner, 1864)
Synonyms
  • Chromis aureus Steindachner, 1864
  • Sarotherodon aureus (Steindachner, 1864 )
  • Tilapia aurea (Steindachner, 1864 )
  • Tilapia nilotica exul Steinitz, 1951
  • Tilapia aurea exul Steinitz, 1951
  • Tilapia monodi Daget, 1954
  • Tilapia lemassoni Blache & Miton, 1960
  • Tilapia kashabi Elster, 1958 (ambiguous)
  • Tilapia kacherbi Wunder, 1960 (ambiguous)

Oreochromis aureus (commonly known as Blue Tilapia or Israeli Tilapia) is a species of fish in the Cichlidae family. Native to Northern and Western Africa, and the Middle East, through introductions it is now also established elsewhere, including parts of the United States, where it has been declared an invasive species and has caused significant environmental damage.[1] It is known as Blue Kurper in South Africa.[2]

Description[edit]

The Blue Tilapia is a freshwater fish with a high tolerance for brackish water. Adults are usually 5 to 8 inches (130 to 200 mm) in length[1] and weigh 5 to 6 pounds (2.3 to 2.7 kg);[3] the largest recorded specimen was more than 21 inches (53 cm) long and weighed more than 10 pounds (4.5 kg).[3] Blue Tilapia are mouthbrooders, and broods range from 160 to 1600 eggs per female.[1] O. aureus is primarily herbivorous, but will occasionally consume zooplankton;[1] the young include small invertebrates in their diet. [4]

Range[edit]

Oreochromis aureus is native to Northern and Western Africa, and the Middle East, from the Senegal, Niger, Benue and lower Nile rivers in Africa to the Jordan River in the Middle East.[4] Through introductions the fish can be found in the United States in Texas, Alabama, Florida, and Nevada. It has also been established in Central and South America, and Southeast Asia.[4] The original stocks of O. aureus in the United States were from Israel.[5]

Invasive species[edit]

Since its introduction into Florida in 1961[3] the fish has increased its range and frequency of occurrence. It is now the most widespread foreign species in Florida, with established populations as far north as Lake Alice, in Gainesville, Florida.[5] It is a major management problem for the National Park Service due to its predominance in Taylor Slough in Everglades National Park, where it has changed the fish community structure.[5] The species is also expanding its range in Texas, is responsible for inhibition of the population of Largemouth Bass in Lake Trinidad, and is implicated in the unionid mussel declines in two bodies of water in Texas.[5] It is also blamed for a severe decline in native fish populations in Warm Springs Natural Area.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Fact Sheet for Oreochromis aureus (Steindachner, 1864)". Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  2. ^ "Blue Kurper". Flyloops. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  3. ^ a b c "Florida's Exotic Freshwater Fishes". State of Florida, Division of Freshwater Fisheries. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  4. ^ a b c "Oreochromis aureus". FishBase. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "NAS Species Fact Sheet". US Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-06-30.