Original description as Tilapia pleurotaenia:
- Boulenger, George Albert. 1901. "Diagnoses of new fishes discovered by Mr. J. E. S. Moore in lakes Tanganyika and Kivu". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. (Ser. 7) pp. 1-6 (crc00034)
Conservation: Protomelas pleurotaenia is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (LC) least concern (2018). Protomelas pleurotaenia is a rather common cichlid although never found in schools. There are no known threats to its existence.