Humphead Unicornfish, Naso tuberosus Lacepède 1801

Other Names: Humphead Unicornfish

A Humpnose Unicornfish, Naso tuberosus, at Aldabra in the Seychelles. Source: Arjan de Groene / FishBase. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A large greyish unicornfish with small blackish spots on the body, especially dorsoanteriorly, and a large bulbous protuberance at the front of the snout in adults.
In Australia, the Humphead Unicornfish has been confused with other species, and records of this species from eastern Australia, and most records from Western Australia, are misidentifications of Naso tonganus.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Naso tuberosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Humphead Unicornfish, Naso tuberosus Lacepède 1801

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Rottnest Island, south Western Australia, and from the Australian territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the Indian Ocean.


Herbivore - feeds on thallate and filamentous algae.


Size at sexual maturity is 35 cm, and the maximum age attained is 25 years.

Species Citation

Naso tuberosus Lacepède, 1801, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 3: 105, 111, pl. 7(3). Type locality: Mauritius.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Australian Faunal Directory
Catalog of Fishes

Humphead Unicornfish, Naso tuberosus Lacepède 1801


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

Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Naso tuberosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 19 January 2015.

Choat, J.H. & L.M. Axe. 1996. Growth and longevity in acanthurid fishes: an analysis of otolith increments. Marine Ecology Progress Series 134: 15-26.

Choat, J.H., K.D. Clements & W.D. Robbins. 2002. The trophic status of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. 1. Dietary analyses. Marine Biology 140: 613-623.

Choat, J.H. & D.R. Robertson. 2002. Age-based studies on coral reef fishes. Pp. 57-80, In: P.F. Sale (ed.) Coral reef fishes: dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem. Academic Press.

Choat, J.H., Clements, K.D. &d Robbins, W.D. 2002. The trophic status of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. 1. Dietary analyses. Marine Biology 140: 613-623.

Comeros-Raynal, M.T., Choat, J.H., Polidoro, B., Clements, K.D., Abesamis, R., Craig, M.T., Lazuardi, M.E., McIlwain, J., Muljadi, A., Myers, R.F., et al. 2012. The likelihood of extinction of iconic and dominant components of coral reefs: the parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. PLoS ONE

Johnson, J.W. 2002. Naso mcdadei, a new species of unicornfish (Perciformes: Acanthuridae), with a review of the Naso tuberosus complex. Australian Journal of Zoology 50: 293-311.

Klanten, S., L. van Herwerden, J. H. Choat & D. Blair. 2004. Patterns of lineage diversifi cation in the genus Naso (Acanthuridae). Molecular Phylogenetic Evolution 32: 221–235.

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

Randall, J.E. 2002. Surgeonfishes of the world. Mutual Publishing and Bishop Museum Press, Hawai'i, Honolulu, Hawaii. 123 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37437048

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:60 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map