Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Cichliformes
(Cichlids, convict blennies) > 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; 9°S - 15°S
Africa: Endemic to Lake Malawi. Only two specimens have been recorded.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 8.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4996)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 9 - 10. Small with small mouth, resembles P. pleurotaenia in body form and coloration. Different from other members of genus because of the greatly enlarged molariform, pharyngeal teeth and from P. pleurotaenia in the larger eye, longer premaxillary pedicel and broader head and body.
One of the two specimens collected was from an extensive shallow sandy area with Vallisneria beds. Stomach content consisted of a gastropod and a ceratopogonid larva (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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01479 (0.00696 - 0.03143), 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
): 3.2 ±0.4 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (12 of 100) .