Filamentous Flasher Wrasse, Paracheilinus filamentosus Allen 1974

Other Names: Filamented Flasher, Filament-fin Wrasse, Filamentous Flasher-wrasse, Filamentous Wrasse

A male Filamentous Flasher Wrasse, Paracheilinus filamentosus, at Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Source: Andrey Ryanskiy / FishBase. License: CC BY Attribution-NonCommercial


Males are overall reddish-orange to purplish with 5-6 reddish to bluish stripes along the sides, 5-6 greatly prolonged filaments extending from the soft dorsal-fin rays, and a lunate caudal fin with filamentous lobes. Females are reddish-orange with darker reddish stripes along the sides.

Breeding males often have neon blue markings with a bright yellow first dorsal fin and elongate dorsal fin filaments.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Paracheilinus filamentosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2020,

Filamentous Flasher Wrasse, Paracheilinus filamentosus Allen 1974

More Info


Recorded in Australia from the northern Great Barrier Reef east of Lizard Island, Queensland, near Halimeda beds in 23-27 m.
Inhabits rubble areas on deep outer reef slopes or slopes at the base of drop-offs, usually at depths below 5 m, and most common at about 25 m.


Males display to each other or to gravid females to spawn, flashing their colours whilst ‘racing’ past with erected fins (Kuiter 2002). During spawning, one or two males accompanied by a group of smaller females repeatedly form tight aggregations near the bottom. This is followed by a rapid vertical dash for a short distance, and an abrupt return to the bottom with the fish releasing a visible cloud of milt and eggs at the apex of the ascent (Allen 1974). 


Appears to hybridize with Paracheilinus rennyae.

Species Citation

Paracheilinus filamentosus Allen, 1974, Pacific Science 28(4): 452, fig. 2. Type locality: Kranket Island, north of Madang, New Guinea.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Filamentous Flasher Wrasse, Paracheilinus filamentosus Allen 1974


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

Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1992. Reef fishes of New Guinea: a field guide for divers, anglers and naturalists. Publication No. 8. Christensen Research Institute, Madang, Papua New Guinea. 132 pp.

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

Kuiter R.W. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Indonesian Reef Fishes. Part 3. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893. 

Liu, M. & To, A. 2010. Paracheilinus filamentosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187403A8526507. Downloaded on 22 February 2016.

Randall, J.E. 1999. Paracheilinus attenuatus, a new labrid fish from the western Indian Ocean, with a redescription of P. piscilineatus. J. South Asian Nat. Hist. 4(1): 29-38.

Randall, E.R. & G.R. Allen. 2003. Paracheilinus rubricaudalis, a new species of flasherwrasse (Perciformes: Labridae) from Fiji. J. Ichthyol. Aquat. Biol. 7(3): 103-112.

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

Westneat, M.W. 2001. Labridae. pp. 3381-3467 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384192

Biology:Able to change sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-35 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:15 cm TL

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