Bluespine Unicornfish, Naso unicornis (Forsskål 1775)


Other Names: Blue-spine Unicorn, Blue-spine Unicornfish, Blue-spined Unicorn, Brown Unicornfish, Brown Unicorn-fish, Longnose Unicornfish, Spotted Unicornfish

A Bluespine Unicornfish, Naso unicornis, in the Red Sea. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

Summary:
A large greenish-grey surgeonfish with a pair of bright blue plates on the caudal peduncle bearing knife-like spines, yellowish dorsal anal fins with narrow blue margins, and a relatively short horn on the forehead.

Video of a Bluespine Unicornfish at Dahab, Red Sea, Egypt

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Naso unicornis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2201

Bluespine Unicornfish, Naso unicornis (Forsskål 1775)

More Info


Distribution

Rottnest Island to Beagle Reef and offshore reefs of Western Australia, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to central New South Wales, with juveniles to southern NSW; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific: from the Red Sea and East Africa, to Hawaii, and the Line and Pitcairn islands.
Inhabits lagoons and outer reefs, grazing on macroalgae.

Features

Dorsal fin VI, 27-30; Anal fin II, 27-30; Pectoral fin 17-18.
Body depth 2.0-2.6 in SL; horn on forehead not projecting forward of mouth; pair of bony plates on caudal peduncle, each with a forward-projecting spine.

Feeding

Herbivore - feed on macroalgae.

Fisheries

An important food fish in parts of its range.

Remarks

When courting females, males may perform displays associated with rapid changes in the colours of the horn on the head and other body parts, highlighting the protuberance by colour contrast.

Etymology




Species Citation

Chaetodon unicornis Forsskål 1775, Descriptiones Animalium: 63. Type locality: Djedda, Red Sea.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2019

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Bluespine Unicornfish, Naso unicornis (Forsskål 1775)

References


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Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.). Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island.Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Arai, H. & Sato, T. 2007. Prominent ornaments and rapid color change: use of horns as a social and reporductive signal in unicornfish (Acanthuridae: Naso). Ichthyological Research 54(1): 49-54. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-006-0373-z

Coleman, N. 1981. Australian Sea Fishes North of 30°S. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 297 pp. 

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Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes.Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

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Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F. (ed.) The Marine Fauna and Flora of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270 

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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 Museum54(3) 

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Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37437031

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-80 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:70 cm FL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map