Endangered Madagascar cichlid has new hope

endangered madagascar

Ptychochromis insolitus (London Zoo)

Seven months ago a worldwide search was on to find a mate for what was believed to be the last two males of an endangered Madagascar cichlid. Ptychochromis insolitus, affectionally called “gorgeously ugly” by zookeepers, was believed extinct in the wild as a result of habitat destruction. There are only a handful of Madagascar cichlids, but P. isolitus is unusual because it has kept many of its ancestral traits.

According to the article on ScienceMag.org, an email arrived at the London Zoo from someone in Madagascar saying they could find the fish.

Zimmerman and his colleagues searched for days near the Mangarahara River with no luck. But when they arrived in a village called Merotandrano, on a small tributary of the river, a fisherman gave him a Mangarahara cichlid that had been dead only a few days. Zimmerman hiked about 2 hours from Merotandrano to a few deep pools where villagers had set out traps. “They went charging into water,” Zimmerman recalls. “They were shouting: Joba mena!” That’s the local name for the fish, which means “red girl,” although in fact it’s the males that have trailing red edges on their fins.

Eighteen specimens of this endangered Madagascar cichlid were collected. Hopes are high that they will be able to breed them, and if successful, there are plans to move some of the offspring into a reserve further upstream.

One Response to Endangered Madagascar cichlid has new hope

  1. Anonymous says: