Determination of body shape and meristic characters variations in wild and cultured populations of cichlid fish, Oreochromis niloticus, from the Republic of Benin, West of Africa
This study was designed to assess morphological changes between cultured and wild tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (L.). Wild fish samples were obtained from fishermen operating in the waters of the vicinity of the province Parakou, Benin in November 2014, while the cultured samples were obtained from a fish farm in the municipality of Sô-Ava in the Atlantic region of the southern part of the Republic of Benin. Significant differences were observed in all nine morphometric traits measured. Discriminant analysis of morphometric parameters showed high divergence between the populations. The meristic count, however, overlapped broadly showing no divergence between the populations. The morphometric differences between the cultured and wild tilapia, O. niloticus, could have been linked to genetic differences or environmental factors or a combination of these.