Sarotherodon mossambicus   (Peters,  1852) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service

Size: 58-155 mm

Color: Variable; silvery grey to greenish brown with 4-5 dark blotches or bars on sides. Dorsal part of operculum dark. Vertical fins variably brownish to blackish; dorsal with pale spots. Pectoral pale. Juveniles with a black blotch between first and fifth dorsal rays.

Head compressed, moderately elongate. Head 2.7-3.0 in standard length, 3.4-3.9 in total length. Depth of body 2.3-2.5 in standard length, 3.0-3.3 in total length. Eye diameter 4.0-5.8 in head, 1.3-2.2 in snout and 1.3-1.7 in convex interorbital space. Teeth small, in several rows in jaws. Maxillary ending before a vertical from front edge of eye. First spine of dorsal fin equal to 2/3 eye diameter, spines increasing gradually in length to the last, it being longest and slightly shorter than postorbital length of head. Third anal fin spine longest, 1.5-2.0 eye diameter. Pectoral fin as long as head. Ventral fin shorter than pectoral.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: XV-XVI, 12; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: III, 10; number of rays in the pectoral fin: ii, 13; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 5; number of scale rows along the lateral line: 30-31; number of horizontal scale rows usually counted from origin of the dorsal fin to the lateral line and from anal origin to the lateral line: 4+1+14-15; gill raker count: 16-19.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Chromis mossambicus Peters 1852
Tilapia mossambica Jones 1964

Common Name (s)
• Mandapa
• Kolathilemeen
• Thilapia
• Tilapia
Economic Importance and Threats



• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-12-02

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