Oreochromis mossambicus, commonly known as the Mozambique tilapia, blue or Kurper bream, and by many other common names, is a cichlid fish native to southern Africa. Because of its success as a food fish bred through aquaculture, O. mossambicus has been spread to tropical and subtropical countries around the world. This hardy fish tolerates wide water temperatures, has a broad, omnivorous diet, rears easily and its firm texture and mild taste make it very popular for eating. The Mozambique tilapia breeds quickly and is fecund; females protect and transport their young by mouthbrooding. Because it easily establishes itself outside of its native range O. mossambicus has become an impossible to irradicate invasive pest in many countries, damaging ecosystems and biodiversity and threatening native fish (for example the striped mullet Mugil cephalus in Hawai’i and the endangered desert pupfish Cyprinodon macularius in California’s Salton Sea. Oreochromis mossambicus (along with closely the related O. aureus, with which O. mossambicus easily hybridizes) is on the list of the world’s 100 worst invasive species put out by the Invasive Species Specialist Group. (Global Invasive Species Database, Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG); Nico 2012; Wikipedia 2011)
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