Tilapia betsileana Boulenger, 1899, Betsileo, Madagascar.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Marahrely а bosse.
Maximum length 9.4 in (24 cm). A fairly deep-bodied, robust fish, usually with a well-developed occipital hump. Color black or dark gray, without stripes or bars. Females appear to be speckled and lighter in color, with white blotches on the cheek.
Central highlands of Madagascar, from the Betsileo region to Lake Itasy in the Merina district.
Cool, clear, well-oxygenated waters. In rivers, often found near rapids and waterfalls; found in deep waters with rocky substrate in Lake Itasy.
Very little is known, except that the species seeks out riffles with rocky substrate.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Omnivorous, feeds on shrimp, aquatic insect larvae, aquatic plants, and phytoplankton.
Spawns on substrate; both parents care for fry for an extended period. Reproduces from October to early November. Females lay many hundreds of eggs, preferably on large rocks.
Listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Human encroachment has caused the extinction of this species in the northern part of its range, and the remaining populations are decimated.
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