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

Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdmann

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 179-188, Volume 13, Issue 3-4 – 23 January 2008


Paracheilinus nursalim is described from 16 male specimens, 39.4-51.0 mm SL, and three females, 20.9-28.9 mm SL, collected at the Fak Fak Peninsula and Triton Bay area of western New Guinea. It is distinguished from all other members of the genus on the basis of coloration of adult males, particularly the presence of a pair of prominent blackish patches, one below the anterior dorsal fin and another covering the ventral half of the caudal peduncle. Males also possess unusually long caudal fin filaments, which extend for about 50% of the standard length in some individuals. The new species most closely resembles the sympatric P. cyaneus (northeast Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and western New Guinea), but is easily distinguished on the basis of the previously mentioned features as well as its predominately orange ground colour compared to the magenta or reddish coloration of P. cyaneus. The latter species further differs in having a dark triangular marking on the spinous dorsal fin, red dorsal and ventral margins on the caudal fin, which extend onto the filamentous lobes, and a blue band below the eye that is about twice the width of a similarly-positioned band in P. nursalim. A key is provided for distinguishing the 16 species of the genus.

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