Paretroplus is a genus of cichlids endemic to lakes and rivers of Madagascar. The vast majority are threatened and restricted to the northwestern part of the island. Only Paretroplus polyactis is found in the southern half of Madagascar and only Paretroplus polyactis and Paretroplus gymnopreopercularis are found in eastern drainages. Most are restricted to freshwater, but at least Paretroplus polyactis and Paretroplus maromandia can also be seen in brackish habitats.
They are more closely related to the genus Etroplus from India and Sri Lanka than they are to other cichlids from Madagascar (subfamilies Paratilapiinae and Ptychochrominae). Their maximum length varies greatly depending on the exact species, ranging from 15–16 centimetres (5.9–6.3 in) in Paretroplus kieneri and Paretroplus gymnopreopercularis to almost 40 centimetres (16 in) in Paretroplus damii. Paretroplus includes both relatively slender-bodied species (Paretroplus damii, Paretroplus gymnopreopercularis, Paretroplus kieneri, Paretroplus lamenabe, Paretroplus loisellei, Paretroplus nourissati and Paretroplus tsimoly) and relatively deep-bodied species (all remaining).
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