Original description as Haplochromis ornatus:
- Regan, Charles Tate. 1922. "The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Nyassa". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1921 (pt 4) n. 36; pp. 675-727 (crc00066)
- Haplochromis festivus Trewavas, 1935, with type locality at Nkudzi, Lake Malawi. Determiner: Snoeks et al., 2004
- Haplochromis lobochilus Trewavas, 1935, with type locality at Deep Bay, Chilumba, Lake Malawi. Determiner: Konings, 2001
Conservation: Protomelas ornatus 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 ornatus is a common cichlid in the lake and since it occurs in rocky (intermediate) areas it is protected from fishermen's nets.