Myanmar Name(s): none
Tilapia are shaped much like sunfish but can be easily identified by an interrupted lateral line characteristic of the Cichlid family of fishes. They are laterally compressed and deep-bodied with long dorsal fins. The forward portion of the dorsal fin is heavily spined. Spines are also found in the pelvis and anal fins. There are usually wide vertical bars down the sides of fry, fingerlings, and sometimes adults.
Biology / Diet / Behavior (Source: Wikipedia)
The Nile Tilapia occurs in a wide variety of freshwater habitats like rivers, lakes, sewage canals and irrigation channels. It can live within an extended temperature range of 8-42 °C, but thrives naturally in a temperature range of 13.5 - 33 °C.
The Nile tilapia is an omnivore that feeds on both plankton and aquatic plants. It generally feeds in shallow waters, as harmful gases (such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia) and temperature fluctuations found in deep waters create problems for the physiology of the fish. The Nile tilapia thrives on the warmer temperatures commonly found in shallow waters compared to the colder environment of the deep lake. In general, tilapias are macrophyte-feeders, feeding on a diverse range of filamentous algae and plankton.
The Nile tilapia typically feeds during daytime hours. This suggests that, similar to trout and salmon, it exhibits a behavioral response to light as a main factor contributing to feeding activity. Due to their fast reproductive rate, however, overpopulation often results within groups of Nile tilapia. To obtain the necessary nutrients, night feeding may also occur due to competition for food during the daylight hours.