In the aquarium
A Paretroplus menarambo in the home aquarium of Lou Rovner in Philadelphia. Photo by Juan Miguel Artigas Azas. determiner Juan Miguel Artigas Azas




Deep-Bodied Paretroplus

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Paretroplus menarambo Allgayer, 1996


Original description as Paretroplus menarambo:


  • Allgayer, Robert. 1996. "Description d'une espèce nouvelle du genre Paretroplus Bleeker (Teleostei: Cichlidae) de Madagascar". Revue Française des Cichlidophiles. (159):6-20 (crc00322)

Taxonomic history:

Etymology: menarambo is the local name of the species (Allgayer, 1996:12), it is derived from the Malagasy compound word mena = red + rambo in reference to the vivid red caudal fin margin of mature specimens (Sparks, 2008:314).

Common names: Pinstripe Damba (en).

Types: holotype: MZUSP 3653 (1), paratypes (3): MZUSP 47.697274 (1), MNHN 1996-121 (1), MNHN 1996-122 (1).

Diagnosis: Paretroplus menarambo is distinguished from all congeners by the presence of a pinstriped lateral pigmentation pattern comprising numerous longitudinal series of prominent black spots on the flanks, owing to the presence of one large spot on each scale. Paretroplus menarambo is also unique among congeners in possessing a conspicuous black interorbital stripe and suborbital blotch (Allgayer, 1996:8; Sparks, 2008:92).

Size: The largest specimen examined by Sparks, 2008:93 in his review of Paretroplus is 166.8 mm in standard length, some 20 cm in total length. Sonia Guinane (2001) reports P. menarambo reaching al least 25 cm TL in aquarium.

Type locality: Lake Sarodrano, Potamasina, basin of Sofia, Madagascar.

Distribution: Endemic to Madagascar. Previously present in the flood plain lakes of the Bemarivo River, the major northwards-flowing tributary of the Sofia River in northwestern Madagascar. The species is now only known to occur in a single lake of that system: Lac Tseny (Ravelomanana, 2016).

Conservation: Paretroplus menarambo is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (CR) critically endangered (2016).

Feeding: Data not available, however given the pharyngeal teeth and their observed behaviour in aquaria it is expected that the natural diet would be largely molluscs.

Aquaristics: 400 liters as a mimimum (100 gallons), preferably much larger. As with all the Paretroplus yet seen, this species appears to require well-filtered water, with a pH at or above neutral. They should be maintained at a temperature above 24 Celsius (76 fahrenheit), and for breeding above 27C (80F). They will feed on a wide range of aquarium foods, from quality dried foods to various frozen invertebrate foods, and will relish cultured snails, even the hard-shelled Malayan Burrowing Snail. Although they can be maintained with other Cichlids, if successful breeding is desired a species aquarium is recommended.

References (4):

  • Allgayer, Robert. 1996. "Description d'une espèce nouvelle du genre Paretroplus Bleeker (Teleostei: Cichlidae) de Madagascar". Revue Française des Cichlidophiles. (159):6-20 (crc00322)
  • Guinane, Sonia. 2001. "Experiences With Paraetroplus menarambo and P. maculatus from Madagascar". Cichlid News Magazine. 10(3): 12-15 (crc00613)
  • Ravelomanana, T. 2016. "Paretroplus menarambo, Pinstripe Damba". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016:e.T44492A58307800 (crc11712) (abstract)
  • Sparks, John S.. 2008. "Phylogeny of the cichlid subfamily Etroplinae and taxonomic revision of the malagasy cichlid genus Paretroplus (teleostei: cichlidae)". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. (314):1-151. DOI: 10.1206/314.1 (crc01597) (abstract)