Fish Lab - Classification

Those Fabulous Flashers!
Wrasses of the genus Paracheilinus

Many of the wrasses are extremely colorful, sporting resplendent hues as well as ornate patterns. Of all the wrasses, some of the most "chromatically blessed" belong to the genus Paracheilinus - the flasher wrasses. Unfortunately, few divers actually take note of these beauties. They often occur at moderate depths, which means their brilliant colors are usually less conspicuous, and they are smaller in size. They are also more abundant in less pristine reef habitats, like rubble slopes or over beds of macroalgae - places that are often less frequented by the average diver. However, once you see a male flasher wrasse display, or "flash," you will never overlook them again!

In this Coral Realm Feature Article we will examine this amazing genus of reef fishes. Our coverage includes information on and photos of most of the 13 known species of flashers. There is also a narrated slide show that includes 35 of the best photos ever taken of members of the genus Paracheilinus. There is also a side bar article on where to go and see these fishes, a section on flashy flasher facts, and information on how to photograph these active little fishes! You will not want to miss this amazing presentation on this, one of the most spectacular genus of coral reef fishes!


Select a Topic:

Meet the Flashers

Flasher Wrasse Slide Show

Best Place to see a Flasher!

Flashy Flasher Facts



NOTE: To read this informative four part article on flasher wrasses you need to be a CoralRealm member. To learn about how to become a member of our international community Click Here!

Roger Steene's
comments about flashers

from an upcoming exclusive
CoralRealm Interview.

"The Paracheilinus, or flasher wrasses are my favorites! They are also the most difficult fish to photograph that I know of. I have said this to other photographers and challenged them to photograph these fish. They come back with pictures of Paracheilinus in all their glory, with their fins down and absolutely no color! But to get it when it's at its best, you have to shoot a male as it displays to the female - its raises its fins, turns on electric colors and then it does and incredible dance. It is difficult to keep up with, let alone focus on the males as they soar past the female!"