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General Information

Scientific Name:

Pachypanchax sakaramyi - (Holly, 1928)

Common/Native Name:

Sakaramyi Killifish

Type Locality:

"Ein Bach im Gebirge ca. 500 m hoch bei Sakaramy, 30km landeinwärts von Diego Suarez auf Madagaskar" = "A mountain stream approximately 500m in altitude near Sakaramy, 30km inland from Diego Suarez on Madagascar".


PACHY-pan-chax sack-a-RAM-e-eye


Named for its type locality, the Sakaramy river.

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Species Details

Maximum Size:

2.61 inches (6.63cm)



Population differences:


Sexual Morphology:


First Description:

Two as yet undescribed fish species from Africa

in: Zoologischer Anzeiger, 1928 2.0 76pp 303figs


Panchax sakaramyi - original description.

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Habitat Information

Distribution/Collection Locales:

Sakaramy river
– 1994 by P.V. Loiselle and O. Lucanus.
Maki creek
- 1893 by C. Allaud.
Antsiranana [Diego Suarez]
– 1921 by J. Chretien.
Ambery creek
– 1932 by G. Petit.
Also known from:
– upper reaches of Antongombato river; aboriginally along the northern and eastern versant of the Ambohitra Massif; Farihy Texier (Farihy can roughly be translated as "Lake", although in this case it refers to a crater lake); Farihy Fantany.

Conservation Status:

Loiselle states that Pachypanchax sakaramyi has been extirpated from most of its aboriginal range, and local residents ascribe its disappearence to predation by introduced Poecilia reticulata and Gambusia holbrooki upon P. sakramyi fry (Loiselle, 2006).

Habitat loss and change in the hydrological profile of small streams due to deforestation or intentional diversion have also caused a decline in population numbers.

Loiselle classifies P. sakaramyi as critically endangered based on WCU criteria (Loiselle, 2006).

Typical Habitat:

Riverine and Lacustrine; Steeply flowing streams with or without overhead vegetation.

Peripheral waters of low-altitude crater lakes; specimens prefer slow flowing water but can be found in strong currents.

Substrates range from bare bedrock to rounded basaltic cobble.

Instream vegetation present in the Antsahalalina river consisted of the Madagascar lace plant (Aponogeton madagascariensis), unidentified Podostemonaceae, and the introduced water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) from Loiselle, 2006.

Typical Water Parameters:

pH: 7.2-7.5

Temperature: 69-72 °F

Conductivity: 58.0-75.0 µS

Cohabitates with:

Gabusia holbrooki

Poecilia reticulata

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Husbandry Information

Origin of Captives:

North American populations stem from a collection in 1994 by P.V. Loiselle and O. Lucanus from the Sakaramy river at Joffreville [Ambohitra].


Males compete for access to females and fatalities to both sexes do occur due to aggression.

Tank Size:

Spawning in trios, or 2:5 ratios can be accomplished in 10 gallon tanks.


In the wild:
Specimens feed on terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates.
In captivity:
Individuals readily take flake, hatched artemia nauplii, bloodworms, black/tubifex worms.

Water Parameters:

Specimens do not appear overly prone to water chemistry or water quality issues

pH: 6.5-7.5

Temperature: 70-75 °F

dKH and dGH: 0-4°

Tank Filtration/Set-up:

Undergravel filter with frequent water changes of 20-30% is sufficient for breeding

Breeding Requirements:

The author spawns Pachypanchax sp. in trios or 2:5 ratios of males to females.

Yarn mops may be supplied, but successful reproduction has taken place with only gravel substrate available.

Eggs can be allowed to hatch in the adult tank; some fry cannibalism by parents is normal, but with a constantly spawning group this behavior appears to wane with time allowing for the rearing of fry in the adult tank.

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