Ecology of Oreochromis niloticus
Main Ref. Philippart, J.-C. and J.-C. Ruwet, 1982
Remarks Inhabit the littoral zone of lakes and are abundant in Lakes Turkana (Rudolf) and Albert. Although a freshwater species they are also found in brackish water like in the Nile Delta. The area occupied by the species extends from 8° S to 32° N and from 6000 ft (1830 m) to sea level. O. niloticus of Lake Edward form very large schools of 100 sq.m or more at the lake surface when feeding. The species takes epiphytic algae, diatoms or plankton according to conditions. (See also Ref. 3736).

Aquatic zones / Water bodies

Marine - Neritic Marine - Oceanic Brackishwater Freshwater
Marine zones / Brackish and freshwater bodies
  • supra-littoral zone
  • littoral zone
  • sublittoral zone
  • epipelagic
  • mesopelagic
  • epipelagic
  • abyssopelagic
  • hadopelagic
  • estuaries/lagoons/brackish seas
  • mangroves
  • marshes/swamps
  • rivers/streams
  • lakes/ponds
  • caves
  • exclusively in caves
Highighted items on the list are where Oreochromis niloticus may be found.


Substrate Ref.
Special habitats
Special habitats Ref. Halwart, M. and M.V. Gupta, 2004


Associated with
Association remarks


Feeding type mainly plants/detritus (troph. 2-2.19)
Feeding type Ref. Getachew, T. and C.H. Fernando, 1989
Feeding habit browsing on substrate
Feeding habit Ref.
Trophic Level(s)
Estimation method Original sample Unfished population Remark
Troph s.e. Troph s.e.
From diet composition 2.00 2.00 0.00 Troph of adults from 1 study.
From individual food items 2.02 0.00 Trophic level estimated from a number of food items using a randomized resampling routine.
Ref. Getachew, T. and C.H. Fernando, 1989
(e.g. 346)
(e.g. cnidaria)
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