Types of Tilapia

Tilapia has been raised as food for human consumption for a long time; tilapia farming is believed to have originated some 2,500 years ago. Tilapias have also been transplanted to many countries outside their native range and are now farmed worldwide. The following information is about Tilapia species, nutrition and history.

Oreochromis urolepis hornorum

The Wami Tilapia (Oreochromis Urolepis Hornorum)

The Wami Tilapia (Oreochromis Urolepis Hornorum) The Wami tilapia and Rufigi tilapia were once considered separate species in early aquaponics, but they have now been merged and the current scientific name for Wami tilapia is Oreochromis urolepis hornorum. (The scientific name for Rufigi tilapia is Oreochromis urolepis urolepis.) In older sources, you the name Tilapia hornorum is used for Wami tilapia. The common name of this fish, Wami tilapia, is derived from the Wami River. Wami tilapia is an African […]

The Mozambique Tilapia

The Mozambique Tilapia (Oreochromis Mossambicus)

Mozambique Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) is native to Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. In South Africa, its range is limited to the Eastern Cape Province and KwaZulu-Natal. The fish lives in the Lower Zambezi River and the Lower Shire River as well as on the coastal plains from the Zambezi delta to Algoa Bay. The geographical range of the species proceeds southwards to Bushmans River in the Eastern Cape Province and the fish is also found in Transvaal […]

Blue Tilapia Species

The Blue Tilapia (Oreochromis Aureus)

Blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) is also known as Israeli tilapia. It is an appreciate food fish and a common species in aquacultures worldwide. Blue tilapia is also sold as bait and aquarists keep it as a pet. Habitat and geographical range Oreochromis aureus is native to Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Senegal in tropical and subtropical African and the Middle East. It can for instance be encountered in the Jordan Valley, the Lower Nile, […]

NIle Tilapia

The Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus)

The Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is an African cichlid native to Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo and Uganda. Nile tilapia is an important food fish that has been introduced to many different parts of the world by man and through aquaponics. It can today be found on all continents except Antarctica. In several countries, Nile tilapia has become a problematic invasive species after its introduction. Subspecies […]

tilapia hieroglyphic

Tilapia History

One of the oldest examples of tilapia farming is a bas-relief found in a 4,000 year old Egyptian tomb depicting tilapias held in ponds. The Nile tilapia was called ?n.t by the Ancient Egyptians the fish was of such great importance to them that it was given its own hieroglyph. The hieroglyph is now number K1 on Gardiner’s Sign List, a list of common Egyptian hieroglyphs compiled by British Egyptologist Sir Alan Gardiner. When used as a logogram, this hieroglyph […]



One of the great advantages of tilapia for aquaculture and aquaponics is that they feed on a low trophic level.  The members of the genus Oreochromis are all omnivores, feeding on algae, aquatic plants, small invertebrates, detrital material and the associated bacterial films.  The individual species may have preferences between these materials and are more or less efficient depending on species and life stages in grazing on these foods.  They are all somewhat opportunistic and will utilize any and all […]