Black Mozambique Tilapia

The Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) is a tilapiine cichlid fish native to southern Africa. It is a popular fish for aquaculture. Dull colored, the Mozambique tilapia often lives up to a decade in its native habitats. Due to human introductions, it is now found in many tropical and subtropical habitats around the globe, where it can become an invasive species because of its robust nature. These same features make it a good species for aquaculture because it readily adapts to new situations. Mozambique tilapia is laterally compressed, and has a deep body with long dorsal fins, the front part of which have spines. Native coloration is a dull greenish or yellowish, and weak banding may be seen. Adults reach approximately 35 cm (14 in) in length and up to 1.13 kg (2.5 lb). Size and coloration may vary in captive and naturalized populations due to environmental and breeding pressures. It lives up to 11 years.

It is a remarkably robust and fecund fish, readily adapting to available food sources and breeding under suboptimal conditions. It also tolerates brackish water and survives temperatures below 50 °F (10 °C) and above 100 °F (38 °C), but sustained water temperatures of 55°F are lethal to Mozambique tilapia.