Genus Paracheilinus


A genus of colourful wrasses found in the Indo-Pacific. The genus comprises at least 20 species, with three species found in Australian waters (as of 2016). Species are typically distinguished on the basis of their caudal-fin and dorsal-fin shapes, the presence or absence of elongate filamentous dorsal-fin rays, and, in particular, the colour of terminal-phase (TP) males, including their dramatic nuptial-display patterns (Allen et al. 2016).

Flasherwrasses typically inhabit rubble bottoms, or Halimeda algal beds, on outer-reef slopes. Although found in depths of  5–70 m, they are most abundant between about 15–40 m. They form harems or aggregations of up to 100 individuals containing terminal males, and many smaller females and juveniles (Allen et al. 2013, Allen et al. 2016).  

Author: Bray, D.J. 2016

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2016, Paracheilinus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Dec 2022,


Allen, G.R. 1974. A review of the labrid genus Paracheilinus, with the description of a new species from Melanesia. Pacific Science 28(4): 449-455.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., M.V. Erdmann & N.L.A. Yusmalinda. 2013. Paracheilinus rennyae, a new species of flasherwrasse (Perciformes: Labridae) from southern Indonesia. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 19(4): 193-206.

Allen, G.R., Erdmann, M.V. & Yusmalinda, N.L.A. 2016. Review of the Indo-Pacific Flasherwrasses of the genus Paracheilinus (Perciformes: Labridae), with descriptions of three new species. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 19: 18–90. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.46267 PDF Open Access

Kuiter, R.H. 2002. Fairy & Rainbow Wrasses and their Relatives. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 207 pp.

Randall, J.E. & Lubbock, R. 1981. Labrid fishes of the genus Paracheilinus, with descriptions of three new species from the Philippines. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 28(1): 19-30.