Tilapia mariae

Tilapia (genus)

Tilapia is a large genus of cichlid fishes endemic to Africa. The common name "tilapia" is also used for tilapiine cichlids of the genera Oreochromis and Sarotherodon, which were long contained in Tilapia.

There is strong indication that even the remaining Tilapia do not constitute a monophyletic group, but rather an assemblage basal among tilapiines and possibly even paraphyletic with non-tilapiine cichlids. For example, Tilapia bemini seems to be closer to Astatoreochromis, and a group containing Tilapia rendalli, Tilapia ruweti and Tilapia zillii is probably even more distant, based on mtDNA sequence analysis. Research is hampered by the fact that hybridization runs rampant in these fishes, and that judging from mtDNA alone taxa may appear to be closer to others than they actually are.(Nagl et al. 2001)



  • (2001): Classification and Phylogenetic Relationships of African Tilapiine Fishes Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 20(3): 361–374.

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