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Library > Cichlids > General Articles > Taxonomy of Cichlids > Sub Family Etroplinae > Genus Paretroplus
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Genus Paretroplus
       
Scientific classification
     
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Actinopterygii
Order : Perciformes
Suborder : Labroidei
Family : Cichlidae
Sub Family :
   
Subfamilies

Introduction

Paretroplus is a genus of fish in the subfamily “Etroplinae”, family Cichlidae.

These are endemic to Lakes and rivers Madagascar, Africa and is the sister genus to Etroplus which are endemic to southern India and Sri Lanka.

Together these two genera comprise the subfamily Etroplinae.

Taxonomy

The Genus Paretroplus was described by Bleeker in 1868.

The genus name Paretroplus comes from the Greek 'para' meaning 'on the side of'; in taxonomy it is commonly used in generic names to express similarity or relatedness
Hence the genus name literally means 'next to Etroplus' and signifies the close relationship these two genus have.

Description

Paretroplus are medium-sized to large cichlid fishes found in a variety of habitats, including rivers, shallow floodplain lakes, and brackish and marshy coastal environments throughout northwestern and eastern coastal Madagascar.

All members of the genus are highly threatened (with the possible exception of P. polyactis) due to habitat destruction, overfishing, and competition from a number of exotic species, primarily tilapiine cichlids and the Asian snakehead.

Until very recently, when a small isolated population was discovered, one species, Paretroplus menarambo Allgayer 1996, was presumed extinct.

A remarkable features of this family, is the development of the front part of the gas bladder and corresponding changes to the posterior of the neurocranium(back part of the skull that houses the brain) to create a direct connection between the gas bladder and inner ear .
This feature is not seen in any other Cichlid families.
This allows fish of this genus to have remarkable hearing power.

 

Relationship with sister genus Etroplus The sister-group relationship between Etroplus and Paretroplus represents a well-corroborated transoceanic link within Cichlidae, a pattern congruent with the Mesozoic fragmentation of Gondwana.

Although separated by the Indian Ocean, due to striking similarities in external morphology Etroplus and Paretroplus have been hypothesized to have a sister-group relationship since the original description of Paretroplus by Bleeker (1868) to encompass his newly described species Paretroplus damii.

This trans–Indian Ocean relationship has been widely accepted by subsequent workers including Regan (1920), Cichocki (1976), and Stiassny (1991).

 

Distribution & Habitat:

Paretroplus are endemic to Madagascar and their greatest diversity is concentrated in the northwestern part of the island, where 11 species occur, whereas only a single species Paretruplus polyactis, is restricted to eastern drainage.

Paretroplus are absent from central western, central highland, and south-western drainage's.

Generally, species of Paretroplus show very distinct distributions, the only exception is Paretroplus kieneri, which exhibits a relatively wide distribution, and is usually found with another member of the genus Paretroplus polyactis.

Paretroplus damii is the only member of the genus that occurs in both eastern and western basins.

Most species of Paretroplus live in freshwater however some species like P. polyactis and P. maromandia exhibit tolerance to brackish or saline environments and may be found, temporarily at least, in full seawater.

 

SPECIES:

Paretroplus comprises 13 species.

There are three morphologically distinct clades are recovered within Paretroplus,

One comprising the comparatively elongate, primarily living in rivers and swift flowing waters .

 

Second comprising the deep-bodied, primarily lake dewelling species

 

The third clade comprises the shallow-bodied and highly mottled species which are found in both rivers and lakes.

 
         
SPECIES SNAPSHOT
 
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus damii
   
Common Name :
Damii
Origin :
Africa: Endemic to the northwestern part of Madagascar,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 4.5 "
Total Length: 6.8 "
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus nourissati
   
Common Name :
Lamena
Origin :
Africa: Endemic to the northwestern part of Madagascar,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 4 "
Total Length: 6.0 "
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus tsimoly
   
Common Name :
Tsimoly
Origin :
Africa: Madagascar.,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 5"
Total Length: 6.0"
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus lamenabe
   
Common Name :
Lamena
Origin :
Africa: Madagascar.,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 6.8 "
Total Length: 8.0"
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus polyactis
   
Common Name :
Masovoatoaka
Origin :
Africa: Madagascar.,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 5"
Total Length: 6.5 "
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus petiti
   
Common Name :
Origin :
Africa: Madagascar.,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 3.5
Total Length: 5.0
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus kieneri
   
Common Name :
Origin :
Africa: Madagascar.,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 4.4"
Total Length: 5.5 "
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus maculatus
   
Common Name :
Origin :
Africa: Madagascar.,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 4.4"
Total Length: 5.5 "
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus menarambo
   
Common Name :
Pin stripe Damba
Origin :
Africa: Madagascar.,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 4.8"
Total Length: 5.5 "
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus maromandia
   
Common Name :
Red Damba
Origin :
Africa: Madagascar.,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 4.9"
Total Length: 5.6"
   
   
   
     
     
Scientific Name :
Paretroplus dambabe
   
Common Name :
Damba. Kotso.
Origin :
Africa: Madagascar.,Other African,AFRICA
Habitat :
benthopleagic: Freshwater: Brackish
Diet :
Carnivore
Breeding: Substrate Spawner
Standard Length: 4.8"
Total Length: 5.6"
   
   
   
     
AUTHOR    
Sandeep Raghuvanshi    
     

REFERENCES

   
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors: Fishbase, World Wide Web electronic publication.www.fishbase.org, version (10/2013),2013, ISBN :
ITIS: Integrated Taxonomic Information System, http://www.itis.gov,, ISBN :
John S. Sparks: Phylogeny of the Cichlid subfamily Etroplinae and the Taxonomic revision of the Malagasy Cichlid Genus Paretroplus,2008,Bulletin of American Museum of Natural History ISBN :