Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Protomelas: Greek, protos = the first + Greek, melas, melanos = black (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 8.0 - 8.0; dH range: 9 - 19. Tropical; 22°C - 26°C (Ref. 2060); 9°S - 15°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 14.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4996)
(total): 15 - 16;
soft rays: 9 - 10;
Vertebrae: 31. Distinguished from P. taeniolatus by the more strongly marked pattern of longitudinal and vertical black stripes and in having fewer and larger teeth in the outer row of the upper jaw and on the lower pharyngeal bone, in having more fleshy lips which partly obscure the posterior teeth of the upper jaw, and in having fewer gill rakers, with the anterior ones very low and blunt. Differs from P. virgatus in not having the posterior teeth of the two inner rows of the lower pharyngeal enlarged.
Africa: Endemic to the northern end and the southwest arm of Lake Malawi.
Inhabits rocky shores and adjacent sandy areas. Characteristic of areas where the rocks are covered with a sediment layer. Feeds by blowing sediment off the rocks and picking at food items remaining (Ref. 267).
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. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
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=0.01738 (0.00863 - 0.03498), b=2.96 (2.79 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.0 ±0.3 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (15 of 100) .