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Coptodon rendalli (Boulenger, 1897)

Redbreast tilapia
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Coptodon rendalli
Male picture by Seegers, L.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Cichlidae (Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
  More on author: Boulenger.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; depth range 3 - 8 m (Ref. 58302).   Tropical; 24°C - 28°C (Ref. 2059); 20°N - 20°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: from the middle Congo River basin (Kasai drainage and between the Lomami and Kisangani) up to the upper Lualaba and the Bangweulu area (Ref. 55074). Also in Lake Malawi, Zambesi, coastal areas from Zambesi Delta to Natal, Okavango and Cunene (Ref. 5163) as well as the Limpopo, Malagarasi (Ref. 55074) and Lake Tanganyika (Ref. 55074, 74387). Also present in the Cuanza and Catumbela rivers in Angola (Ref. 11970). Introduced elsewhere usually for weed control and aquaculture. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 17.7  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 45.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 26550); max. published weight: 2.5 kg (Ref. 26550); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 7248)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 15 - 17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-13; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 9 - 10; Vertebrae: 29. Diagnosis: A large, deep-bodied species with a steep head profile, narrow head and small mouth; often appearing brownish with a white belly, some individuals have bright red bellies (Ref. 118638). The sexes look very similar, although males are usually larger (Ref. 118638). Very difficult to distinguish from Coptodon zillii, but C. rendalli usually have a steeper head profile and less prominent vertical bars; in East Africa, the tailfin of C. rendalli is often divided into a brownish upper part ad yellowish lower part, whereas that of C. zillii is uniform and spotted (Ref. 118638).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

It prefers quiet, well-vegetated water along river littorals or backwaters, floodplains and swamps. They are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures (8-41°C) and salinities (Ref. 3, 7248, 118638). Forms schools; is mainly diurnal. Juveniles feed on plankton (Ref. 52307); adults feed on leaves and stems of underwater plants as well as algae, and vegetative detritus (Ref. 52307), insects and crustaceans. A substrate spawner; male and female form pairs to rear the young; eggs and larvae are usually guarded in a steep-side circular pit dug in the mud (Ref. 118638). Occasionally it spawns in large cave-like structures (Ref. 52307), e.g. in Lake Malawi they are reported to dig a network of tunnels at some sites (Ref. 118638). Make excellent eating (Ref. 5214). Widely exploited in fisheries and aquaculture (Ref. 118638).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Prefers a sloping spawning ground near the marginal fringe of vegetation (Ref. 3). Builds nest in shallow water where both parents guard the eggs and young.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Kullander, Sven O. | Collaborators

Dunz, A.R. and U.K. Schliewen, 2013. Molecular phylogeny and revised classification of the haplotilapiine cichlid fishes formerly referred to as "Tilapia". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 68(1):64-80. (Ref. 93285)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 20 June 2018

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Potential pest





Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Aquaculture: production; ; publication : search) | FishSource |

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01660 (0.01401 - 0.01966), b=2.99 (2.94 - 3.04), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.3   ±0.1 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.13-0.18; tmax=7).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.