Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 9 spines and 11 rays. The first dorsal rays greatly extended in mature males. Lateral lines in two parts. Pupil divided into two equal adjoining parts.
Colour: Ground colour orange. Females with faint, broken blue horizontal lines on sides. Males with distinct broken blue lines and deep red on inner part of soft dorsal and outer part of anal fins.
Habitat and Biology: Usually seen on rubble bottoms at depths greater than 20 m. Forms aggregations. Feeds on zooplankton.
Distribution: Indo-West Pacific.
Remarks: The male of Paracheilinus mccoskeri is for its size one of the most beautiful of all Maldivian reef fishes. The males maintain harems of several females, which they ‘flash’ with their spectacular dorsal fins. A very popular aquarium fish.