Reproduction of Oreochromis mossambicus
Document source: http://fishbase.org/Reproduction/FishReproSummary.php?ID=3&GenusName=Oreochromis&SpeciesName=mossambicus&fc=349&StockCode=3
 
Main Ref. Balon, E.K., 1990
Mode dioecism
Fertilization external
Mating type
Spawning frequency no obvious seasonal peak
Spawning aggregation Ref.  
Batch spawner Yes.   Ref.  
Reproductive guild bearers
external brooders
Parental Care
Description of life cycle and mating behavior Spawns at the edge of the littoral terrace of lakes (Ref. 1, 2, 87, 6465), in sandy or muddy bottoms (Ref. 57425). Displays a lek mating system; territorial males establish breeding territories where they dig spawning pits, assume a dark coloration, defend a breeding territory and actively court females; sneaking males intrude into nests during a spawning episode, exhibiting quivering behavior which is usually an indicator of sperm release; sneaking is predominantly performed by subordinate males, which may adopt pseudo-female behavior (Ref. 57425). Only territorial males produce sounds, during all phases of courtship but especially during the late stages, including spawning (Ref. 49830). Territorial male excavates and defends a basin-shaped pit in the center of his territory, where female deposits 100-1700(1800) eggs (Ref. 44894, 52307). Eggs and milt are sucked up by the female (Ref. 2, 44894). Fertilization is reported to sometimes occur in the mouth of the female (Ref. 6028). Females incubate eggs alone (Ref. 12501, 52307). It is possible, albeit rare, that males take up some eggs after spawning (Ref. 2, 5726, 52307, 57895), but they almost always eat them soon after (Ref. 52307). Females school together while mouthbrooding (Ref. 40035), they cease to feed and subsist on food reserves stored in their body (Ref. 1). Females may spawn a full clutch with just one male, or may spawn with several different males in a series (Ref. 52307). Water is circulated over the eggs by chewing movements of the jaws (Ref. 12501, 12522). Fry hatch in the female's mouth after 3-5 days (Ref. 2, 12501, 12522, 44894, 52307), depending on the temperature (Ref. 52307). The young are released from the mouth in 10-14 days, but remain near the female and enter the mouth if threatened until about 3 weeks old (Ref. 2, 44894, 52307). Fry and juveniles shoal in shallow water (Ref. 6465, 7248, 57895) where they feed during the day, and retreat to deep water at night (Ref. 87, 6465). Females raise multiple broods during a season (Ref. 7248, 57895).
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Entered by Luna, Susan M. on 10.19.90
Modified by Musschoot, Tobias on 02.28.07
Checked by Torres, Armi G. on 03.20.95
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