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Flasher Wrasses of Indonesia
Seven described flasher wrasse species (Paracheilinus) live in Indonesia waters. Sometimes flasher wrasses are called fairy wrasses, given their magical appearance. Two of the seven are considered endemic to Indonesia. One is the Togean flasher wrasse (P. togeanensis), pale white in color with outlined fin segments. The other is the iridescent Cyan flasher wrasse (P. cyaneus), found in Papua, Kalimantan, and the Togean islands. Both species were named in 1999. But several distinctive ones have been photographed but not yet described scientifically. This includes what is usually called the Hybrid flasher wrasse. This is the one we see at a few dive sites here in Gorontalo.
Photographing this undescribed flasher wrasse requires a certain strategy. Always in small schools, these wrasse stay close to loose rubble along slopes, often ducking for cover if threatened. Only one or two fish in the school will be the spectacular male with tall fins and trailing filaments, which he flashes at regular intervals. This particular specie is also highly territorial. If a patient photographer simply waits, the school of Hybrid fairy wrasse will come right back to the same place. Although we have a photograph of the females, no one has yet to capture the male on film. Since Miguel?s Diving staff knows exactly where these rare beauties live, you can get your shot when diving resumes in November.
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