Scribbled Unicornfish, Naso maculatus Randall & Struhsaker 1981

A Scribbled Unicornfish, Naso maculatus, at Midway Islands, Hawaii. Source: John E. Randall. License: All rights reserved

A slender bluish-grey unicornfish becoming paler below, with small dark spots and short lines on the upper ¾ of body and caudal fin, similar but less distinct and less dense spots on the head, and a dark line along the lateral line that breaks up into spots posteriorly. This species lacks a rostral projection at all sizes.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Naso maculatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Scribbled Unicornfish, Naso maculatus Randall & Struhsaker 1981

More Info


Off southern Queensland; also Middleton Reef and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, west-central Pacific.


Dorsal fin VI-VII, 26-28; Anal fin II, 26-28; Pectoral fin 16-18; Pelvic fin I, 3; Caudal fin (branched rays) 14; Gill rakers short, 3-4 + 10-12; Vertebrae 9+13. 
Body elongate, dorsal and ventral profiles of head evenly convex, forehead without rostral prominence even in adults; deep diagonal groove on snout from eye towards anterior end of snout. Two small peduncular plates each with a sharp, approximately semicircular, laterally projecting keel. Caudal fin emarginate without a filament.


The species is named maculatus in reference to the numerous dark spots found in both juveniles and adults.

Species Citation

Naso maculatus Randall & Struhsaker 1981, Copeia 1981(3): 554, fig. 1. Type locality: Oahu Island, Hawaiian Islands, Oahu, north shore off Haleiwa, 21°40'N, 158°07'W, depth 100 m.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Scribbled Unicornfish, Naso maculatus Randall & Struhsaker 1981


Borden, W.C. 1998. Phylogeny of the unicornfishes (Naso, Acanthuridae) based on soft anatomy. Copeia 1998(1): 104-113.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Kuiter, R.H. & Debelius, H. 2001. Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and Their Relatives. A comprehensive guide to Acanthuroidei. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 208 pp. 

Masuda, H., Amaoka, K., Araga, C., Uyeno, T. & Yoshino, T. (eds) 1984. The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokyo : Tokai University Press Vol. 1–2 437 pp. 247 figs 370 pls.

Randall, J.E. 2001. Surgeonfishes of Hawai'i and the World. Honolulu : Mutual Publishing and Bishop Museum Press 125 pp. 

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E. & Struhsaker, P. 1981. Naso maculatus, a new species of acanthurid fish from the Hawaiian Islands and Japan. Copeia 1981: 553-558

Russell, B., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Rocha, L.A., Nanola, C. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Naso maculatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T178020A1523627. Downloaded on 13 November 2018.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37437038

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:20-220 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:60 cm TL

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