The Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis Insolitus), a cichlid that hails from Madagascar is so rare that there are only three known fish in captivity, and it is believed that the species does not exist in the wild due to the building of dams on the country’s Mangarahara River.
The Zoological Society of London has made a public appeal to fish collectors all over the world for a mate to one of the London Zoo’s two males. A third male is kept at the Berlin Zoo. Brian Zimmerman, curator of the aquarium at the ZSL London Zoo and colleagues at the Zurich Zoo tried to find a female for the three males that are the last known species in existence but have thus far came away empty handed. This led to their appeal last week to private aquarium owners and aquarium fish enthusiasts to come forward if they have a female that could help to kick start a breeding program to save the species from extinction. The society issued a press release in the form of a personal ad titled “Male Seeking Female: Must Want Kids.”
“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,” Zimmerman said in the release. “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.” For those who may know of someone who has a female Mangarahara cichlid, please email the society at firstname.lastname@example.org.