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Library > Cichlids > General Articles > Taxonomy of Cichlids >Sub Family Ptychochrominae > Genera Ptychochromis >Ptychochromis loisellei

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Species Ptychochromis loisellei  
Scientific classification
Image Credit : Melanie L.J. Stassiny
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Actinopterygii
Order : Perciformes
Suborder : Labroidei
Family : Cichlidae
Sub Family : Ptychochrominae
Genus : Ptychochromis
Morphometric Data
Total Length (inches)
Standard Length (inches) 3.90
Measurements as a % of Standard Length
Fork _length
Pre_ anal _length
Pre dorsal_length
Pre_ pelvic_length
Body_ depth
Eye diameter (HL)
Pre_orbital_length (HL)
Snout_ length
Inter orbital_width (HL)
Pre orbital_depth (HL)
Caudal _peduncle_depth
Caudal _peduncle_length
Pectoral _fin_length
Pelvic_ fin_length
Length _of_last_ dorsal_ fin_spine
Scientific Name : Ptychochromis loisellei
Common Name : Garaka
Geo Origin : AFRICA, Other African, Africa: Madagascar.
Conservation Status : Endangered
Diet :
Gender Differences :
Breeding :
Temperament :
Con specific Temperament :
Standard Length : 3.9"
Total Length :
Water Hardness:
Difficulty :


Ptychochromis loisellei is a medium sized fish which is commonly found in its limited range situated in Maharana river and its tributaries in North eastern Costal Madagascar.

(Click for details of Cichlid taxonomy)

(Click for details of genus article)

Ptychochromis loisellei was first described by Stiassny & Sparks , in 2006.

The genus Ptychochromis was described by Steindachner in 1880.

The species name loisellei after Paul V loisellei, who collected the type series and in recognization of his many contributions to understanding and conservation of Madagascar fresh water fish.

(Click for description of fish body parts)

Ptychochromis loisellei reaches a standard length of about 3.9 ".

Body is moderately deep and laterally compressed. Body depth is approx 45% of SL.

Snout outline is markedly pointed.
Lateral snout outline is straight to moderately curved.

Predorsal head profile is moderately convex from middle of eye to dorsal-fin origin.

Dorsal body profile from dorsal-fin origin is moderately curved.

Ventral(lower) body profile is straight.

Caudal peduncle is short, deep, and laterally compressed.

Dorsal-fin origin is located anterior to vertical through pectoral-fin insertion.

Pelvic-fin origin is located well posterior to vertical through pectoral-fin insertion.

Total vertebral count is 27 or 28, with 13 vertebra located on body and 13-14 located on caudal region.

Lower and upper jaws are similar (isognathous), in some cases the lower jaw can protrude slightly.

Teeth in jaws are bilaterally symmetrical and bicuspid, with crowns some what expanded distally and slightly recurved.
Outer row teeth of both jaws are enlarged and graded in size laterally.

Like all cichlids, P. loisellie have pharyngeal teeth.
Upper and lower pharyngeal tooth plates are well developed with strong teeth.

Body is covered with large, regularly imbricate, ctenoid scales from about level of mid orbit to proximal portion of caudal fin.

Scales above upper lateral line to about level of origin of soft dorsal fin are cycloid.

Scales on flanks becoming increasingly ctenoid posteriorly, but at most only weakly so.

Scales on nape are ctenoid, rest of scales in head region are cycloid.

There are 3-4 rows of cycloid scales on cheek.

Scales in front of chest and belly are cycloid, scales towards back of chest are ctenoid
Scales on opercle and subopercle cycloid or weakly ctenoid. .
Anterior chest scales are reduced in size and embedded.

Snout, and region near eyes does not have any scales.


Scales on caudal fin reduced in size,ctenoid anteriorly and much smaller and cycloid posteriorly.

Lateral line has 28 or 32 scales.
There are five scales in diagonal from lateral line to dorsal-fin origin.

There are four or five scale rows between bases of pectoral and pelvic fins.
No scale rows present along dorsal- and anal-fin bases.

Dorsal fin is placed vertically above pectoral fin base, slightly anterior and has XIII to XIV spines, 12-13 soft rays.

Anal fin has III spines and eight or nine soft rays. First anal spine is very short, second and third spines elongate and of similar length.

Caudal fin is slightly indented (emarginate), trailing margins of upper and lower lobes quite produced.

Pectoral fin is elongate and tapered distally.

Distal margins of soft dorsal and anal fins produced and markedly pointed in larger specimens.
Trailing margin of soft dorsal fin elongate and filamentous. •
Pelvic fins are short, and extend to origin of anal fin.


Coloration :-

During breeding time Ptychochromis loisellei exhibit an intense copper orange wash on the flanks and an orange spot in the center of each scale of the middle four or five rows around the lateral line.

A dusky, wedge-shaped bar extends from a point immediately anterior to the origin of the anal fin and extends to the base of the dorsal fin. As it approaches the center, the bar tapers to a point.

Soft dorsal, anal, lower lobe of the caudal and pelvic fins are dusky black.
Spinous dorsal fin is edged in yellowish-white.

Caudal fin has an intense red distal margin.

Iris of the eye are marked with orange-red.

Geographical distribution

Ptychochromis loisellei is known only from Maharana river and its tributaries in North eastern Costal Madagascar.


Habitat :


Conservation Status :

IUCN lists this as an un described species with voucher specimens held at MNHN.

The fish is found in limited range in Tributaries of maharana river near town of Antsirabe-Nord.

Its extant of occurrence is less than 5000 sq km, and area of accupancy is less than 500 sq m.

The main impacts thought to have caused the decline of this species are deforestation leading to loss of habitat through increased sedimentation, competition from introduced tilapia and overfishing.

This species is assessed as Endangered.

Aquarium upkeep

No information was available regarding its upkeep in aquariums.


  Sandeep Raghuvanshi
Citations/Further Reading  

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors:Fishbase, World Wide Web electronic, version (10/2013),2013, ISBN :

ITIS: Integrated Taxonomic Information System,,, ISBN :

John S. Sparks:A new and presumably extinct species of Ptychochromoides (Teleostei: Perciformes: Cichlidae) from central Madagascar. Perciformes: Cichlidae) from central Madagascar. Zootaxa 524, 1-15: 13-13,,2004,Zootaxa 524, 1-15: 13-13, ISBN :

Melanie L.J. Stassiny, John S. Sparks:Phylogeny and Taxonomic Revision of the Endemic Malagsy Genus Ptychochromis with the description of Five New species and a Diagnosis for Karia, New Genus,2006,American Muesum of Natural History ISBN :