Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes)

Genus/species: Naso brevirostris

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Spotted Unicornfish is olive-brown to blue-grey with dark spots on head and vertical rows of spots and lines on sides. The tail is whitish with a dark area at base. A long, tapering horn on forehead of adults is lacking in juveniles.

Max length: 60 cm (23.5 in)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Naso brevirostris is found in the Indo-Pacific: East Africa, the Hawaiian Islands, southern Japan and Australia  It prefers mid-waters along steep outer lagoon and seaward reef drop-offs, from 4–45 m (12-150 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Juveniles: benthic algae; adults: mainly zooplankton.

REPRODUCTION: Pelagic spawners

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: Unicornfishes (Naso spp.) are characterized by 2 sharp, fixed (not moveable as in surgeonfishes), keel-like plates on the caudal peduncle. The skin is leathery with tiny non-overlapping scales, and teeth have finely serrate edges. Males of many Naso species are able to display spectacular iridescent markings during courtship.


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