Tilapia, Nile uconn fishhead



Gila River. Phoenix, Arizona
Date Caught: 
Monday, February 17, 2020
About 5". Not positive about the ID. Both Nile and Blue Tilapia may be present in the system. I caught 3 of these in the same spot. Dorsal spine/total ray count (16/28) is closer to the Nile (mode 16/28; range 15-16/27-30) than the Blue (mode 17/30; range 16-18/29-31). The tail is banded, but not highly contrasting. The fish could be a hybrid between the two species. Of course, ID is only made tougher with small specimens like these. Comments/opinions are appreciated.
Strains, Subspecies, and Hybrids: 


dlk243's picture

I caught some little tilapia from the Gila a couple of months back that looked a lot like yours (but even smaller haha) and I identified them as Nile as well, but I am by no means at all an expert, like, at all haha

To my untrained eyes the vertical lines on the caudal fin look fairly distinct. It looks like the red on the first one could mean breeding colors of a male?? 

One page I used was this fact sheet on the blue tilapia. Nothing new here you didn't already mention in your post other then the red coloration. 

Of course being some kind of hybrid is very likely too 


uconn fishhead's picture

Yeah, the people on INaturalist.com also think Nile or possibly hybrid.  Always tough when two (or more) animals look so similar.  Anyway, I always want to be as careful as possible and always doubt my first guess on a new fish.  It's certainly been more than once that what I initially thought turned out to be something else.

dlk243's picture

Same haha