Damba Cichlids Paretroplus/Ptychochromis/Paratilapia

Damba cichlids
Damba cichlids
Damba mipienta
As Madagascar's forest and freshwater habitats continue to be destroyed, many wildlife species are threatened or facing extinction, including fish. Above right shows the Damba Mipentina cichlid, Paretroplus maculatus, with its distinguishing black spot on the flank, which is one of those critically endangered. It grows to 30cm (1 foot) long and was native to floodplain lakes of northwestern Madagascar but has sufferend habitat loss, overfishing and invasive species and is now confined to only one lake of less than 100 sq m.
Mangarahara cichlid
Mangarahara cichlids
Mangarahara cichlid
The Mangarahara cichlid, Ptychochromis insolitus/mangarahara, above, with its flowing red fins, was first described as a new species in 2006, native to two rivers in northern Madagascar. Damming of the river and crop irrigation caused much of their former habitat to dry up and they were then thought to be extinct in the wild. After extensive search a small further population was located in a single pond in 2013 and a small captive breeding project is underway, but there is no suitable habitat for reintroduction. Other species in the same habitat are also thought to be near extinction.
Polleni cichlid
Polleni cichlid
Mangarahara cichlid
The Polleni cichlid, Paratilapia polleni, above left and centre, also called Black Diamond Cichlid, is native to rivers of northern Madagascar. It is a medium-sized omnivore cichlid with a black or greenish black background and white or metallic spots. Once considered the only valid member of its genus, it has since been split into the "large spot", P. bleekeri, which can grow to 30cm long, and the smaller "small spot, P. polleni. They are also in danger of extinction in the wild and, while some continue to be taken from the wild for the hobbyist and aquarium trade, the hobbyists/aquaria have also contributed to conservation breeding of the Polleni.