You can sponsor this page

Naso lituratus  (Forster, 1801)

Orangespine unicornfish
Add your observation in Fish Watcher
Native range
Reviewed map
Naso lituratus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
Upload your photos and videos
Pictures | Videos     Stamps, Coins Misc. | Google image
Image of Naso lituratus (Orangespine unicornfish)
Naso lituratus
Picture by JJPhoto

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).

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): 28-31; Anal spines: 2; Anal soft rays: 29 - 31. Dorsal fin black, the black continuing as a pointed projection onto nape, with a pale blue line at base and a broad outer white zone on soft portion; anal fin mainly orange; dorsal and anal fins with a narrow blue margin and black submarginal line; caudal fin with a yellow submarginal band posteriorly (Ref. 37792). Caudal fin emarginate with adult males having trailing filaments from each corner (Ref. 37792).

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. 115185)

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

More information

Common names
Egg development
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

Download XML

Internet sources

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 (0.01391 - 0.04537), 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.