London Zoo searching for female fish to help save critically endangered species


Have you seen this fish? Well, this post does not directly concern the Caribbean, but it is a desperate appeal and there are many Caribbean public and private aquariums that could hold a female Mangarahara–and extinctions are my obsession.

A good sense of humour may not be essential for two male fish at ZSL London Zoo who are searching for romance in a bid to save their species—as Sarah Shaffi reports in this article for

The zoo has today launched a worldwide appeal to find a female mate for the last remaining males in the critically endangered Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis Insolitus) fish.

The species is believed to be extinct in the wild, due to the introduction of dams drying up its habitat of the Mangarahara River in Madagascar, and two of the last known individuals – both males – are residing in ZSL London Zoo’s Aquarium.

Brian Zimmerman, curator of the Aquarium at London Zoo, along with colleagues at Zurich Zoo in Switzerland set about trying to find other Mangaraharan cichlids in zoos around the world, but had no luck finding surviving females.

An appeal has been launched today for private aquarium owners, fish collectors, and hobbyists to come forward if they have or know of any females in existence, so that a vital conservation breeding programme can be started for the species.

Launching the appeal, Mr Zimmerman said: “The Mangarahara cichlid is shockingly and devastatingly facing extinction; its wild habitat no longer exists and as far as we can tell, only three males remain of this entire species.

“It might be too late for their wild counterparts, but if we can find a female, it’s not too late for the species. Here at ZSL London Zoo we have two healthy males, as well as the facilities and expertise to make a real difference.

“We are urgently appealing to anyone who owns or knows someone who may own these critically endangered fish, which are silver in colour with an orange-tipped tail, so that we can start a breeding programme here at the Zoo to bring them back from the brink of extinction.”

Anyone with information about the cichlids can email the team at

For the original report go to

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