Spotted Tilapia, Pelmatolapia mariae Boulenger 1899

Other Names: Black Mangrove Cichlid, Niger Cichlid

A Spotted Tilapia, Tilapia mariae, caught on a hook and line in the heated outflow of the Hazelwood Power Station, Victoria. Source: Andrew Miller / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY Attribution-ShareAlike

First discovered in the warm water outflow of Hazelwood Power Station, Victoria, Spotted Tilapia also now occurs in coastal drainages of north Queensland.

This species was previously known as Tilapia mariae.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Pelmatolapia mariae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 09 Dec 2022,

Spotted Tilapia, Pelmatolapia mariae Boulenger 1899

More Info


First discovered in the 1970s in ponds heated by discharge from Hazelwood Power Station, Morwell, Victoria. In the 1980s a population was found in coastal rivers of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, north Queensland.

Species Citation

Tilapia mariae Boulenger 1899, Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1899: 120. Type locality: Opobo River, Niger Delta.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Spotted Tilapia, Pelmatolapia mariae Boulenger 1899


Bradford M, Kroon F & Russell D (2011). The biology and management of Tilapia mariae (Pisces: Cichlidae) as a native and invasive species: a review. Marine and Freshwater Research 62: 902–917. Abstract

Cadwallader, P.L., Backhouse, G.N. & Fallu, R. (1980). Occurrence of exotic tropical fish in the cooling pondage of a power station in temperate south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 31: 541–546. Abstract

Canonico, G.C., Arthington, A., McCrary, J.K. & Thieme, M.L. (2005). The effects of introduced tilapias on native diversity. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 15: 463–483. 

Dunz, A.R. & Schliewen, U.K. (2013): Molecular phylogeny and revised classification of the haplotilapiine cichlid fishes formerly referred to as “Tilapia”. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68(1): 64–80. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2013.03.015 Abstract

Mather, P.B. & Arthington, A. H. (1991). Assessment of genetic differentiation among feral Australian tilapia populations. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 42: 721–728. Abstract

Osborne, A. (1980). The ichthyofauna of the Hazelwood pondage with emphasis on the introduced tropical cichlid, Tilapia mariae. B.Sc. (Hons) Thesis, Latrobe University, Melbourne. 

Russell DJ, Thuesen PA & Thomson FE (2009). Development of Management Strategies for Control of Feral Tilapia Populations in Australia. Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Brisbane. 

Webb, A.C. (2007). Status of non-native freshwater fishes in tropical northern Queensland, including establishment success, rates of spread, range and introduction pathways. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 140: 63–78.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37371002


Native:Introduced / invasive

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