Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Protomelas: Greek, protos = the first + Greek, melas, melanos = black (Ref. 45335). More on author: Trewavas.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical; 14°S - 15°S
Africa: Endemic to Lake Malawi. In 1988, a small population was found at Nkomo Reef, of which one specimen was positively identified. In 1989, a few specimens were seen at Makanjila Point, of which no individuals were caught for positive identification.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 14.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4996)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 8. Differs from P. fenestratus and P. taeniolatus in the more specialized form of the jaws, with the dental arch of the premaxilla narrow anteriorly, but spreading laterally at the posterior ends, with rather long anterior teeth, and in the enlargement of the pharyngeal teeth.
Individuals at Nkomo Reef were observed to occur over sand and scattered rocks at a depth of about 17 m. Feeds from the rocks and small pebbles of the environment and also from the zooplankton when this is available (Ref. 5595).
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. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg 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 (0.00703 - 0.03260), 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
): 3.3 ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (20 of 100) .