Aquat. Living Resour.
Volume 37, 2024
|Number of page(s)
|12 January 2024
Ecological niche and life-history traits of redbelly tilapia (Coptodon zillii, Gervais 1848) in its native and introduced ranges
Key Laboratory of Freshwater Aquatic Genetic Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, China
2 Shanghai Collaborative Innovation for Aquatic Animal Genetics and Breeding, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, China
3 School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Haramaya University, 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
4 These authors contributed equally
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Handling Editor: François Le Loc'h
Accepted: 18 December 2023
Redbelly tilapia (Coptodon zillii) is a member of a group of fishes in the Cichlidae family endemic to the northern half of Africa and the Middle East. In the literature, the name C. zillii is mostly associated with a negative impact on the ecosystem and biodiversity in the areas to which it was introduced. In its native range, it is not a much-appreciated fish species from both fisheries and aquaculture perspectives because of its small size and difficulty to catch when compared to Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Although C. zillii has several desirable aquaculture traits such as feeding at lower trophic levels, high fecundity, saltwater and cold tolerance, the attempts to capitalize on this potential are lacking. Moreover, comprehensive studies that characterize its ecological niche in its native range and adaptive mechanisms of invasiveness in introduced areas are also limited. Notwithstanding, it is a species of invasion concern that requires continuous monitoring and implementation of mitigation actions in non-native regions. Compilation of information regarding the environmental requirements, feeding, and reproductive biology of C. zillii may serve as a starting ingredient for further research and management of its invasiveness, which is highly required in the face of freshwater ecosystem modifications as a result of climate change. This paper also addresses the current state and potential of C. zillii for utilization in capture fisheries and fish farming.
Key words: Redbelly tilapia / freshwater invasion / non-native range / biocontrol and fisheries
© T.T. Geletu et al., Published by EDP Sciences 2024
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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