Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Naso lituratus, Orangespine unicornfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

no horn
yellow stripe eye to mouth
D black, margin white
C black, margin yellow
tail base: 2 large cutting keels in orange blotches



Naso lituratus (Forster in Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Orangespine unicornfish

Body elongate, oval; snout pointed, slopes at about 45°; adult without horn; mouth small, protrusible, low on head; teeth small, conical, tips slightly depressed & either smooth or with multiple small points; dorsal fin VI, 27-30; anal II, 28-30; pectoral 16-17 rays; pelvics I, 3; 2 pairs of cutting keels on plates on narrow tail base; tail concave, males with long filaments from top and bottom; scales very small, rough; lateral line complete.

Grey brown body and head; lips orange; snout, between eyes and behind mouth black, with yellow edging; nape yellow; dorsal black, grey and white margin; cutting plates on tail base in 2 orange spots; tail black to grey, with thin yellow margin; anal orange, thin black and white marginal lines; pelvics yellowish; pectoral dark grey.

Size: 45 cm.

Habitat: reefs and rocky shores; usually in sheltered habitats, although also on exposed outer reefs.

Depth: 0-70 m; juveniles usually 5-15 m; adults usually 5-20 m.

An Indo-Pacific species; introduced to Florida.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species..
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 45
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 70