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; 12°S - 15°S
Africa: Endemic to Lake Malawi. Previously, two subspecies were recognized: Protomelas marginatus marginatus (southern end of the lake) and Protomelas marginatus vuae (northern end of the lake).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 16.6 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4996)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Inhabits shallow vegetated areas. Feeds on algae and debris of vascular plants. Ingestion of small invertebrates is possibly incidental (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. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
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=0.01445 (0.00677 - 0.03085), b=2.98 (2.81 - 3.15), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.00 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 (19 of 100) .