Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Protomelas: Greek, protos = the first + Greek, melas, melanos = black (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical; 13°S - 17°S
Africa: Occurs in the south-east arm of Lake Malawi and upper Shire River.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 18.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4996)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 14 - 16;
soft rays: 8 - 10;
Vertebrae: 30. Differs from P. marginatus and P. similis in having a group of enlarged pharyngeal teeth and from P. labridens in having a straight snout profile and a larger mouth, with the lower jaw one third or more of the head length.
Inhabits shallow vegetated inshore areas of the lake where it is commonly found around patches of Vallisneria. Feeds on invertebrates including the small gastropod, Gabiella stanleyi (Ref. 267).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Maréchal, C., 1991. Protomelas. p. 387-393. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4. (Ref. 4996)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01514 (0.00700 - 0.03275), b=2.97 (2.80 - 3.14), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.52 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (21 of 100) .