Coptodon (Tilapia) rendalli
A popular angling species, growing to a weight of about 2.5kg and a length of roughly 45cm, the Redbreast Tilapia prefers still, well-vegetated waters in rivers and marshes and thrives in dams. Water plants and algae form the bulk of their diet, but they will also eat invertebrates and even small fishes.
When breeding, which occurs in summer, the pair clears a nest up to a meter in diameter among the plants in shallow water in which they protect the eggs (up to 8,000!) and the fry, until these are between 1 and 2cm long. They can live for up to 7 years.
Redbreast Tilapia are found naturally from the DRC southwards, and have been introduced to a number of other African countries where they’re valued in aquaculture. In South Africa they occur naturally in the east-flowing rivers from the Limpopo-system in the north to the Tugela-system in the south, but there have also been some introductions to waters outside of this area. According to the IUCN, this species is of least concern.