Original reference as:
- Ribbink, Anthony J & B.A. Marsh, A.C. Marsh, A.C. Ribbink & B.J. Sharp. 1983. "A preliminary survey of the cichlid fishes of rocky habitats in Lake Malawi". South African Journal of Zoology (Zool. Dierkunde). pp. 149-310 (crc01386)
Conservation: Protomelas sp. 'mbenji thick-lip' is not evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species. Protomelas sp. 'mbenji thick-lip' is one of the few Malawi species that has been affected by overfishing of collectors of ornamental cichlids. 30 years ago males in breeding color were rather common in certain areas but nowadays one has to visit deeper reefs that are never visited by ornamental fish collectors to observe some of the males in breeding colors. The same is true for subadults and adult females. Regrettably this species continues to be collected as it demands a rather high price.