Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Flasher Wrasses, Genus Paracheilinus Reproduction

Related Articles: Flasher Wrasses

Related FAQs: Flasher Wrasses, & FAQs on: Flasher Wrasse Identification, Flasher Wrasse Behavior, Flasher Wrasse Compatibility, Flasher Wrasse Selection, Flasher Wrasse Systems, Flasher Wrasse Feeding, Flasher Wrasse Disease, & Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,  

McCosker's Flasher Wrasse Female To Male Change -- 02/01/11
Hello WWM crew!
<<Hiya Becca!>>
I have a 150L aquarium that until recently has been stood empty after a nasty white spot outbreak (fallow for approximately 3 months).
<<I see>>
Last week I added a pair of yellow coral gobies who I love but they looked a little lost in the tank so I decided to get them some company in the form of a trio of McCosker's flasher wrasses.
<<Mmm, this tank is too small for the wrasses really. While though a smallish fish, and though one that doesn't require a large environment in which to roam like say a Tang species would, 150L/40g U.S. is still a bit small here given their penchant for aggression among conspecifics. And to make matters worse, this fish does better, in my experience, in a group of 5 or more. A 'trio' just doesn't allow for enough spreading of aggression among the group. These little wrasses are also notorious jumpers'¦a behavior only exacerbated by 'too-small' confines>>
The LFS gave me a ring this morning to let me know they had got the fish in for me, when I went to see them they were all swimming happily together and munching on flake and frozen Mysis. Looking at them now I am afraid I may have ended up with 2 males rather than 2 females, one of the males is almost fully grown compared to the other who is the same size and colour as the female but I noticed that he had an elongated section on his dorsal fin the same as my big male.
<<Ah yes'¦ You likely have a sub-adult male in the group>>
I can't get a picture at the moment as he will not stay still but I will keep trying. Now finally getting down to my question, will they all still get on or will one of them have to go?
<<Odds are the dominant male will not tolerate the younger male'¦especially in such close confines>>
I have read that some males will be subordinate, or that the female to male change can be halted by the presence of a dominant male.
<<This is true. And perhaps if this system were larger'¦'¦'¦'¦>>
How can I tell if the smaller wrasse is in the process of becoming a male or if he is fully male already? (Probably going to be a really obvious answer isn't it!)
<<Compare its appearance to the larger male (color/color pattern, finnage)>>
If I do have to get rid of a male would you suggest another female or try to leave the pair as it is?
<<These are a 'haremic' species. Four or more females per male'¦and a larger tank'¦are your best option>>
Thanks for your time, sorry for carrying on so long!
<<No worries Becca, happy to share. Cheers'¦ EricR>>
Re: McCosker's Flasher Wrasse Female To Male Change -- 02/02/11

Hello again,
<<Hiya Becca>>
Thanks for the quick reply.
<<Quite welcome>>
I think I will give my cousin a ring and ask if he wants them for his tank (500L).
<<A much better solution>>
By the sounds of it they will be much happier in there than in my tank.
Would the sub adult male be ok to go with the other two or is it best for me to take him to my LFS?
<<I would seek to exchange the young male for a female, if possible>>
May see if he's willing to trade me his rather nice ornate leopard wrasse for them!
<<Ah Becca'¦you may be going from the frying pan in to the fire. Before deciding, please read here and among the associated links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/macropharyngodon.htm >>

Paracheilinus McCoskeri - protogynous hermaphroditism   12/21/10
Hi there,
Can Paracheilinus mccoskeri revert to females from a male or "partially" male state?
<No; under normal conditions it's a one-way process, though some female-to-male transitions may be only partial if the fish in question is being socially suppressed by dominant males in the group or school.>
There's certainly a gradient along which the transformation takes place and I've seen fully male, fully female, and many in-between fish,
but presuming that three healthy in-between specimens were placed into a suitable environment (but in proximity so that they interact socially), would one of them turn "fully male" and the other two "fully female"?
<No; one would become a male, and likely bully the others into submission, stopping them from transitioning from female to male any further.>
I can't seem to find this info anywhere but it strikes me that if it's possible it would have happened in someone's tank already.
<Male to female sex changes in wrasses have been triggered under lab conditions through the use of hormones this doesn't happen under wild or normal aquarium conditions.>
<There is some evidence wrasse employ a "sneaker male" strategy in some situations, where males unable to assert dominance within a group adopt female colouration. In this way they avoid being bullied by the dominant males, and while they can't effectively court females, they can at least get close enough to shed their sperm over the eggs of a female mating with a dominant male. With luck, at least a few sperm will fertiliser the female's eggs before the dominant male notices what's happening and chases the sneaker male away. Use of Google Scholar will turn up some interesting articles if you search for wrasse, sex, and change in the search box.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Paracheilinus Mccoskeri - protogynous hermaphroditism   12/29/10

Thanks Neale!
<Glad to help! Cheers, Neale.>

Filamented Flasher Wrasse Spawning 6/29/09
<Hello Debbie>
I was able to watch with delight tonight my male filamented wrasse with one of the females do their little dance. They would touch noses, swim together and then separate, and did the same routine 3 to 4 times. The last time she released a large white cloud into the tank... under the Vortech... which rapidly dispersed the eggs throughout the tank.
My cleaner shrimp were the first to react to the new food. Probably no chance of anything settling in my refugium and growing huh?
<Very unlikely.>
Everything I've been reading states that wrasses need a tall, very tall aquarium to do this, but my tank is only 17" tall minus 2-3" of sand minus 1" from the top. Are the needs different between species of wrasses as to how much room they need?
<You did not mention your actual tank size, but a couple of these wrasses should do well in a minimum tank size of 30 gallons. As far as "needs", this will depend on the adult size of the wrasse. Your wrasses do not exceed four inches in the wild, and likely less under captive conditions.>
The male starts his flashing/girl chasing routine the same time every night when the "dusk/dawn" lights go off and only the actinics are on. If I can get pictures or video of the next spawning event
I'll be sure to share.
<We would love to see some pics.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Sexing a Carpenter??? Hello again Crew, I have not received a response to my previous question regarding carpenter wrasses, so I am re-sending the email in case it might have been lost in cyberspace. I also found a picture of a juvenile and adult carpenter wrasse (attached) since sending my original email. So hopefully this will help to identify my fish. I am not even certain I have a carpenter wrasse now (it was nipping at my clam mantle a few days ago) so any help with identifying the fish and its sex is certainly appreciated! --Greg <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracheilinus.htm Looks like a male carpenteri to me. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sexing a Carpenter??? Bob, Thank you for the prompt reply! I would like to add a female carpenter wrasse to my 180g aquarium, which already contains a male (based upon your feedback below). Assuming I am able to finally locate a female, is it likely that  these two fish would live together peacefully or would they fight? Since my LFS has been unable to locate a female (or even differentiate them from males), is it possible that a male would turn to a female if placed in a tank with another male?  <In this size, shape tank should get along fine... you could add two or more females> One last clarification: From the attached picture, it appears that the juvenile carpenteri is primarily red in color, whereas the adult is primarily yellow. Is this the best method of sexing these fish (yellow vs. red) and does "Adult" necessarily indicate a male in the attached photo? I did view the WWM page you recommended -- nice pics! <Mmm, take a look at this species, others of the genus on fishbase.org. When you left click on the primary image per species, it brings up all their pix and a link to Google images... There is quite a bit of variability in these wrasses. Bob Fenner>
McCosker's flasher wrasse, breeding    2/2/07 Bob- First and foremost I think your book is the best on the market.   <Thank you. Much good help with it> I often refer to it when I need answers.  I also frequent La Jolla being  from Phoenix, Arizona and was delighted to hear of your affiliation with the  Scripps.   <Mmm, more of an old-timey one than with the fabulous present Birch> I go there every time we go to La Jolla. <What a location, eh!? What a view!> My question is  have you ever heard of anyone having success at breeding flasher wrasses? <Mmm, no... in fact, though they're such a vast/diverse family... with many smaller, beautiful species of interest to aquarists, I have "heard" of exceedingly few attempts at such>    I have a mated pair of McCosker's flashers and would like to perhaps try to get  them to have babies. Any tips? <Mmm, really to (maybe when you're in San Diego again... contact me and I may join you on the venture), to make a sojourn to a large/college library... there's one (a treasure) down next to SIO... their library I mean... where I/we can "do" a computer search bibliographic search for such information. I would take a look see at Ron Thresher's (see Amazon.com maybe) general work on marine fish reproduction... but very likely you'll need/want to study re rearing techniques/technology and food culture methods. Bob Fenner> McCosker's flasher wrasse  2/9/07 Thanks Bob>  I will let you know when we'll be in town.  I  also have an extra Sea World ticket! Ha! Ha! <Wow! The big money... I have some passes and discount for parking at the Stephen Birch...> I have attached a picture of  the wrasses.  I think they're beautiful!! <Oh yes. BobF>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: