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Naso lituratus (Forster, 1801)

Orangespine unicornfish
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Naso lituratus
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Nasinae
Etymology: Naso: Latin, nasus = nose (Ref. 45335).  More on author: Forster.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 90 m (Ref. 9710), usually 5 - 30 m (Ref. 37792).   Tropical; 35°N - 30°S, 96°E - 122°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Pacific Ocean: Honshu, Japan south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia and east to the Hawaiian Islands, French Polynesia, and Pitcairn. Eastern Pacific: Clipperton Island. Once regarded a wide-ranging Indo-Pacific species, the Indian Ocean population is now recognized as a separate species, Naso elegans.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 46.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 37792)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 6; Dorsal soft rays (total): 26-29; Anal spines: 2; Anal soft rays: 27 - 30. This species is distinguished by the following characters: D VI (rarely V or VII),26-29(modally 27); A II,27-30 (rarely 27 or 30); pectoral rays usually 17; body depths of adults 2.6-3.0 in SL; head dorsal profile sloping and smoothly convex (forehead no horn nor protuberances); two large peduncular plates, the keels with forward-projecting points in adults; caudal fin emaginate in young and truncate in adults; body brown to bluish gray, ventral half yellowish gray to yellow, the demarcation along middle of side often abrupt and irregular; edge of opercle and preopercle usually with a dark brown band; margin of lower lip broadly white with upper surface of tongue black in adults; gill rakers are blackish basally; blue caudal fin with a broad, brownish yellow, posterior border which narrows toward corners of fin; it is capable of changing overall into light grayish blue, as when at a cleaning station; when in courtship the males quickly display a broad, bluish white zone on the nape and anterior part of the body , followed by narrow bars of the same color that extend onto lower side (Ref. 54980).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in areas of coral, rock, or rubble of lagoon and seaward reefs, Ref. 48637. Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Adults usually in small groups. Juveniles in shallow rocky reefs, sometimes in small aggregations mixed with other acanthurids of similar size (Ref. 48637). Feed mainly on leafy brown algae (Sargassum and Dictyota). Sometimes in large aggregations (Ref. 37792). Very seldom poisonous (Ref. 4795). Pair-spawning has been observed.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Probably spawn in pairs (Ref. 240).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Randall, John E. | Collaborators

Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene, 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 506 p. (Ref. 2334)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 06 May 2010

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Venomous (Ref. 4716)





Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 24.5 - 28.9, mean 27.7 (based on 734 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02512 (0.01384 - 0.04557), b=2.97 (2.81 - 3.13), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.3   ±0.19 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.