Higher classification Cichlid
Scientific name Paretroplus
|Lower classifications Paretroplus menarambo, Damba mipentina, Kotsovato, Damba, Paretroplus nourissati|
Paretroplus menarambo pinstripe damba poetry in motion
Paretroplus is a genus of fishes in the cichlid family, all of which are endemic to lakes and rivers of Madagascar. The vast majority are threatened and restricted to the northwestern part of the island. Only P. polyactis is found in the southern half of Madagascar and only P. polyactis and P. gymnopreopercularis are found in eastern drainages. Most are restricted to freshwater, but at least P. polyactis and P. maromandia can also be seen in brackish habitats.
- Paretroplus menarambo pinstripe damba poetry in motion
- Madagascar s paretroplus nourissati breeding a rare sight
They are more closely related to the genus Etroplus from India and Sri Lanka than they are to other cichlids from Madagascar (subfamilies Paratilapiinae and Ptychochrominae). Their maximum length varies greatly depending on the exact species, ranging from 15–16 centimetres (5.9–6.3 in) in P. kieneri and P. gymnopreopercularis to almost 40 centimetres (16 in) in P. damii. Paretroplus includes both relatively slender-bodied species (P. damii, P. gymnopreopercularis, P. kieneri, P. lamenabe, P. loisellei, P. nourissati and P. tsimoly) and relatively deep-bodied species (all remaining).
Madagascar s paretroplus nourissati breeding a rare sight
There are currently 13 recognized species in this genus. Additionally, an undescribed species from the P. damii–loisellei species group is known from the Ankofia River basin in northwestern Madagascar.
The genus can be divided into several clades, and one of these includes P. lamenabe, P. nourissati and P. tsimoly, which have been considered worthy of placement in their own genus Lamena (still used in their common names). On a higher level these three are part of a clade that also includes P. damii and P. loisellei.