Nursalim Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus nursalim Allen & Erdmann 2008

Other Names: Nursalim Flasher Wrasse

A male Nursalim Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus nursalim, from Flinders Shoal, Northern Territory, depth 25-60 m. Source: Fenton Walsh / Cairns Marine. License: All rights reserved

Males are yellowish-orange with a rectangular black patch on the lower rear of the body including the lower half of the caudal peduncle, an indistinct black patch on the back below the spinous dorsal fin, narrow blue stripes and dashes on the head and sides, 6-8 pale filaments on the dorsal fin, a deep red anal fin with a blue margin and a strongly lunate tail with horizontal blue streaks. Immature males are pale reddish with narrow stripes and dashes on the head and sides.
Females are mostly red with faint darker stripes along the head and sides, have a rounded tail, and lack elongate filaments on the dorsal fin (may have several short filaments).

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Paracheilinus nursalim in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2020,

Nursalim Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus nursalim Allen & Erdmann 2008

More Info


Flinders Shoal, Timor Sea, about 200 km NE of Darwin, Northern Territory, depth 25-60 m. Elsewhere the species is only known from the Bird's Head Peninsula, West Papua, Indonesia. 
Inhabits gradual rubble slopes on partly sheltered reefs exposed to periodic strong currents. In Indonesia, the species mostly occurs at depths of 20-35 m. In the Triton Bay area, West Papua, the Nursalim Flasherwrasse may form large aggregations of about 30 males and several hundred females.


Dorsal fin VIII-IX, 11; anal fin III, 8-10; Pectoral fin 14-15; Lateral-line scales (pored) 11-16 + 3-10; Gill rakers (total first arch) 12-15.
Body depth 2.9-3.5 in SL; caudal fin of males strongly lunate, length 1.6 (1.7-2.4) in SL, caudal concavity 0.8-1.5 in HL; pelvic fins of males 1.6-1.8, and 2.0-2.2 in females, both in HL.


Pored lateral-line scales 11–16 + 3–10 (usually 16 + 5–7); gill rakers on first branchial arch 12–15 (usually 12–13); body depth 2.9–3.5 in SL; head length 2.8–3.3 in SL; snout length 3.8–4.9 in HL; eye diameter 3.0–4.2 in HL; interorbital width 4.2–5.3 in HL; least depth of caudal peduncle 2.0–2.5 in HL; caudal peduncle length 1.5–2.3 in HL; 4–6 (rarely 3) elongate filamentous dorsal-fin rays in TP males, longest dorsal-fin soft ray 1.8–2.1 in SL; pelvic fin length 1.6–1.8 in HL; caudal fin of TP male deeply lunate, rounded in initial phase; maximum size to at least 50.1 mm SL;


Females (Initial Phase) reddish-orange grading to white on abdomen with numerous faint purple-to-bluish stripes, iris reddish orange.
Males (Terminal Phase) pink to pumpkin-orange grading to white on abdomen and lower head, dusky on upper head and body with mostly reddish stripes (blue on snout and under eye) on head and body; median fins mostly orangish-pink with thick blue edges on dorsal and anal fins; nuptial-male display pattern largely yellow grading to yellow-orange ventrally, with thin blue stripes, with a pair of contrasting rectangular blackish patches, one on upper side below spinous dorsal fin and second on lower third of caudal peduncle; dorsal fin mostly yellow with thin blue edge grading to bright white on elongate filamentous rays; anal fin and pelvic fins red with thick sky blue edge; caudal fin translucent with rays highlighted in blue except for upper and lowermost rays with greatly elongated filaments that are bright white.


Feeds on zooplankton in the water column.

Similar Species

Differs from other species of Paracheilinus in having a pair of prominent blackish patches, one below the anterior dorsal fin and the other on the ventral half of the caudal peduncle.


The species is named nursalim for Sjamsul and Itjih Nursalim.

Species Citation

Paracheilinus nursalim Allen & Erdmann, 2008, aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 13(3-4): 181, Figs. 2-4. Type locality: Pulau Semisarom, 3°51.292'S, 134°0.934'E, Triton Bay, Papua Barat Province, Indonesia, depth 25 m.


Bray, D.J. 2018

Nursalim Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus nursalim Allen & Erdmann 2008


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2008. Paracheilinus nursalim, a new species of flasher wrasse (Perciformes: Labridae) from the Bird's Head Peninsula of western New Guinea with a key to the species of Paracheilinus. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 13(3-4): 179-188. See ref online

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

Allen, G.R., Erdmann, M.V. & Yusmalinda, N.L.A. 2016. Review of the Indo-Pacific Flasherwasses of the genus Paracheilinus (Perciformes: Labridae), with descriptions of three new species. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 19: 18-90 Open access

Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae fishes: wrasses. Seaford, Victoria, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 398.

Liu, M. & To, A. 2010. Paracheilinus nursalim. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187757A8623382. Downloaded on 07 December 2018.

Quick Facts


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-60 m

Habitat:Aquarium fish (rare)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map