Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 15-17 spines and 10-13 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 7-10 rays. Pectoral fin rays 13-14. Body depth 2.3 in standard length. Body compressed and oblong. Scales moderately large. Pectoral fin as long as head. Maxillary not extending to the front border of the eye.
Colour: Body greenish brown. About 5 dark bars on sides. Pelvic fin dark brown to black. Pectoral fin pale. Habitat and Biology: Found in fresh water, brackish water or sea water but rarely in open sea. Feed on a wide variety of plant matter as well as on insects, crustaceans and fishes.
Remarks: Oreochromis mossambicus was first brought to Maldives in 1964 by a Japanese Research Vessel Fuji Maru as bait from Sri Lanka. This species was first distributed on Huraa island in Kaafu Atoll by Mr N T Hassan Didi. Now common in several locations. Previously recorded under the genus Sarotherodon in the Catalogue of Fishes of the Maldives, Vol. 1, page 50.