Original description as Haplochromis virgatus:
- Trewavas, Ethelwynn. 1935. "A Synopsis of the Cichlid Fishes of Lake Nyasa". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. Series 10; pp. 65-118 (crc00118)
Conservation: Protomelas virgatus is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (LC) least concern (2018). Since Protomelas virgatus prefers the rocky parts of shallow intermediate habitats it lives protected from seining fishermen even when it occurs mainly in very shallow water.