Monday,26 July 2021, 4 : 59 PM

Paretroplus lamenabe

P kieneri
Paretroplus lamenabe
Image Credit: John Sparks


Paretroplus lamenabe is a somewhat large fish in its genus.
It has a standard length of 6.8" and total length of 8.0".
It is found in Lake Sarodrano which lies within the Bemarivo River floodplain between the towns of Mampinkony and Port Berge´ in northwestern Madagascar.


(Click for details of Cichlid taxonomy)

Paretroplus lamenabe was described by John Sparks in 1998.
The genus Paretroplus is further divided several groups called clades.
P lamenabe belongs to clade consisting of fish which are comparatively elongate and primarily live in rivers and swift flowing waters.
The other members of this clade are P. damii, P. nourissati , P. tsimoly, P. loisellei.

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.

The species name is composed of two parts of Malagasy words "Lamena" and "be".
Lamena means "red one" and "be" means big, so the name literally means "the big red".


Paretroplus lamenabe is a deep bodied elongate member of its clade.
It has a standard length of 6.8" and a body depth of 50.1 % of SL.
P lamenabe can be differentiated from other members of its clade by the presence of two wide and convergent (below the lateral midline) dark brown to black midlateral bands, representing the second and third or third and fourth bars in series. However this trait is also present in P. nourissati and P. tsimoly.

Head is pointed, head length is 33.9% of SL and width is 18.7 % of SL.
Snout is 51 % of Head length and is moderately curved.
Predorsal profile is moderately curved and is 46.2 % of SL.
A pointed head with moderately curved snout and predorsal contour gives the fish a beaky appearance when viewed from side.
Dorsal body outline is slightly curved.
Ventral(lower) outline mostly straight (except posteriorly).
Caudal peduncle is short, deep, and laterally compressed.
Total vertebral count is 30-32, 14 vertebra on body (pre caudal) and 16-18 on tail.
Lower and upper jaws are similar (isognathous).
Lips are not notably fleshy and are covered with fine papillae.
Upper and lower lips are not extended into median lobes.
There is a single row of thin, flat, single cusp teeth in bothx upper and lower jaws.
Teeth are laterally expanded, flattened at crown. In upper jaw, tooth on either side of pre maxillary symphysial are greatly enlarged, other teeth graded in size laterally.
Lower-jaw teeth at symphysial are not enlarged, but reduced in size compared to adjacent lateral teeth, presumably to accommodate enlarged upper symphysial teeth.

Teeth in upper jaw number six to nine on each side, and total 15–18.
Teeth in lower jaw number six to seven on each side, and total 7 –10.
Teeth in both upper and lower jaws are frequently irregularly spaced and graded in size laterally.
Like all cichlids, P. lamenabe have pharyngeal teeth.
Upper and lower pharyngeal tooth plates are well developed with strong teeth.

Body is covered with large, overlapping, cycloid scales.
Flank scales on back side are thin, lack circuli(rings) , un ossified and form a flexible 'flap'.
Dorsal and Anal fin bases have well-developed ridges of scales.
Pelvic auxiliary scale are present and well developed.
Lateral-line contains 36–39 scales.
Chest scales are markedly reduced in size and embedded.
Scales along ventral midline are smallest.
There are four to five rows of scales on cheek. Opercle, subopercle, and interopercle scaled.

Snout, and region near eyes does not have any scales.
Scales on caudal fin are small in size and extending posteriorly about 3/4 length of fin on dorsal and ventral lobes, and 1/3 length of fin medially.
Dorsal fin is placed vertically or slightly behind above pectoral fins base and has XV–XVII spines, 11–16 soft rays.
Soft Dorsal fin is weakly pointed.

Anal fin has VII –IX spines, 10 –12 soft rays.
Soft anal fin is weakly pointed.
Caudal fin is concavely curved but not forked ( emarginate) , upper and lower lobes are broad and more-or-less rounded.
Pectoral fin is broad and rounded at the end .
Pelvic fin extends to about level of anal-fin origin.

Distribution & Habitat

Paretroplus lamenabe is known only from the lower reaches of the Mahajamba River, near the town of Androka, in northwestern Madagascar. De Rham and Nourissat (2004) discuss a similar, and possibly conspecific, fish that was collected from the Andranomiditra River, a tributary of the Mahajamba River, in Ankarafantsika National Park.
The Mahajamba River is the next major basin to the north of the extensive Betsiboka system. The Mahajamba is joined by the Kamoro River, a tributary of the Betsiboka, east of Tsaramandroso and near Morafeno, such that the upper 153 km of the Mahajamba flows almost entirely into the Betsiboka basin (Aldegheri, 1972).
This joining of Capture of the upper Mahajamba by the Kamoro occurs well upstream of the range of P. lamenabe.
Moreover, in periods of low water all of the Mahajamba’s water goes to the Kamoro, and from this point to the sea, the only water the Mahajamba receives is from its small tributaries.
Thus, the lower reaches of the Mahajamba are effectively isolated from the Kamoro and Betsiboka basins to which P. tsimoly is endemic ).
The isolation of the lower Mahajamba from both the upper Kamoro and Betsiboka basins may help to explain the existence of closely related yet distinct species in adjacent basins.
Habitat :
De Rham and Nourissat note that the Mahajamba River in this region is generally turbid and the banks muddy, but that all of the individuals were collected from a rocky stretch with an accelerated current.


Base colour of body ranges from Pinkish brown, grey, or bluish grey to bright yellow.
While breeding the colour changes to orangish.
There are six to seven vertical bars present on flank.
The two midlateral bars normally second or third or third or fourth are prominent.
Rest are generally faint, although those on posterior flank are readily visible.
Lips and gular region are gray to light bluish grey, this turns to to dark grayish blue while breeding.
Fins are dark gray, they turn orangish yellow in breeding individuals.
Margins of soft dorsal, anal fins, and caudal fin are bright orange in breeding adults.
There is a dark grey to black triangular patch generally visible in pectoral-fin axil.

Conservation Status & Threats

IUCN has not evaluvated the status of Paretroplus lamenabe.
Not much information is available to access the distribution and abundance of P. lamenabe to accurately assess its conservation status.
Some of the major threats to this fish are Habitat destruction, overfishing, and competition from a number of exotic species, primarily tilapiine cichlids and the Asian snakehead are major threats faced all madagascar Cichlids.

Tank Size and setup:

It is a medium to large size fish, and should be housed in a tank of not less than 500 liters.
These fish live in rivers and large lakes, and need exceptionally clean water.
As their diet is rich in proteins the filteration should be very good.


Not much information is available on this fish however it might be a highly opportunistic feeder like others of its genus.
Crushed insects as well as large number of fibrous plant matter has been found.

Species Snapshot

Species Card

Particulars Details
Scientific Name Paretroplus lamenabe
Common Name Lamena
Genus Paretroplus
Subfamily Etroplinae
Geographical Origin Africa: Madagascar.
Diet Carnivore
Gender Differences Mono morphic
Breeding Substrate Spawner
Temperament Mildly aggressive
Con Specific Temperament Mildly aggressive
Water hardness ph range ; 6.5 to 8
Difficulty Level in Aquariums 4

Morphometric Data

Particulars Details
Total Length(inches) 8.00
Standard Length(inches) 6.80

Measurements as % of Total Length

Particulars Details
Body Depth 50.10 %
Head length 33.90 %
Pre Dorsal length 46.20 %
Pre Pectoral length  %
Pre Anal length 61.50 %
Pre Pelvic length 42.00 %
Caudal Peduncle Depth 16.40 %
Caudal Peduncle Length 6.50 %
Fork length  %
Length of Last Dorsal Fin Spine  %
Pectoral Fin Length 22.20 %
Pelvic Fin Length 22.60 %

Measurements as % of Head Length

Particulars Details
Head Width 18.70 %
Snout length 51.00 %
Eye diameter 23.20 %
Pre Orbital Length  %
Inter Orbital Width 33.50 %
Pre Orbital Depth  %

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