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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Nile tilapia

Oreochromis niloticus

Common name:

Nile tilapia

Scientific name:

Oreochromis niloticus

Alternative common names:

Mango fish, nilotica and boulti. 

The Nile tilapia has distinctive, vertical stripes extending as far down its body as the bottom edge of the caudal fin, with variable colouration. It tolerates brackish water and survives temperatures between 8 and 42°C. It is an omnivore, feeding on plankton as well as on higher plants.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Central and North Africa and the Middle East.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1b.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Limpopo and Mpumalanga (Incomati River).

    How does it spread?

    Globalisation has contributed to the spread of many recreational angling species, with introduced species being marketed worldwide, and modern transport allowing the relocation of these species across physical barriers.

    Why is it a problem?

    Nile tilapia are known to feed on phytoplankton, periphyton, aquatic plants, invertebrates, benthic fauna, detritus and even other fish and fish eggs. Depending on the food source, they will feed either via suspension filtering or surface grazing, trapping plankton in a plankton-rich bolus using mucus excreted from their gills.

    What does it look like?

    Description: Distinctive, regular, vertical stripes extending as far down the body as the botton edge of the caudal fin, with variable colouration. Adults reach up to 60cm in length and weigh up to 4.3kg. It is an omnivore, feeding on plankton and higher plants. Habitat: Nile tilapia are a tropical species that prefer to live in shallow water. The lower and upper lethal temperatures for Nile tilapia are 11-12°C and 42°C, respectively, while the preferred temperature ranges from 31-36 °C. Breeding: Male fish is the one that initiates breeding by creating a spawning nest, which guarded. When the water temperature reaches 24 degrees Celsius and above, female lays eggs into the nest. Eggs are fertilized by the males before the female collects them in her mouth (brooding). Eggs and the fry which then hatch are incubated and brooded in the manner until the yolk sac is fully absorbed two weeks later. The number of eggs a female will produce is dependent on body size, range from 100 eggs (produced by a 100g fish) to 1500 eggs (spawned by a 1kg fish).

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more