Heterotilapia is a genus of cichlid fish that are native to rivers from Guinea-Bissau to Liberia in tropical West Africa. Formerly considered a subgenus of Tilapia, in 2013, it was elevated to genus rank.[1] They are medium-large cichlids, up to about 20–30 cm (8–12 in) in standard length depending on the species, and with a distinctive dark-and-light banded pattern. They are substrate spawners and brooders (not mouthbrooders as some other tilapias). H. buttikoferi is a common species that also has been introduced outside its native range, but H. cessiana is highly localized and critically endangered.[1][2]

Cichlidae - Heterotilapia buttikoferi.JPG
T. buttikoferi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cichliformes
Family: Cichlidae
Subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Tribe: Heterotilapini
Dunz & Schliewen, 2013
Genus: Heterotilapia
Regan, 1920
Type species
Chromis buttikoferi
Hubrecht, 1881


Two recognized species are in this genus:[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c Dunz, A.R.; U.K. Schliewen (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.
  2. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2019). Species of Heterotilapia in FishBase. November 2019 version.