Comparative morphometric and meristic characteristics of redbelly tilapia, Coptodon zillii (Gervals, 1848) populations from some major water bodies in Nigeria
Hameed A Adedeji, Thomas A Idowu, Lucky U Onyia, Olukayode A Sogbesan
The morphometric and meristic characteristic of Coptodon zilli from five major water bodies in Nigeria were assessed. A total of twenty-nine (29) morphometric measurements and six (6) meristic counts were carried out on two hundred and thirty-nine (239) individual of coptodonzillii from Asejire, Oyan, Jebba, Kainji and Geriyo Lakes of Nigeria over a period of 12 months. The data generated were statistically analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) an d multivariate test of discriminant function analysis (DFA). The results showed that all tested characters were significantly different (p<0.05) except dorsal ray,dorsal spine, anal ray, anal spine, upper lateral line scale, lower lateral line scale and right gill raker. Coptodon zillii from Asejire Lake were phenotypically seperable population from other populations while there was observed overlapping of characters between Oyan and Jebba Lakes, and Kaniji and Geriyo Lakes. The canonical discriminant plot also revealed a phenotypically seperable populations of Coptodonzillii in the studied areas. Coptodonzillii from Asejire, Oyan and Kainji Lakes exhibit better characters based on the total weight, total length, body depth and head length data. Based on the result from this study, Coptodonzillii from Asejire, Oyan and Kainji Lakes could be a preferred broodstock for breeding and farming programmes.