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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: unicornfish (English), pez-unicornio (Espanol)
 
Naso vlamingii (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1835)


Vlaming's unicornfish     Vlaming's bignose unicornfish

Body elongate, oval; snout short, with prominent hump just below eye; mouth small, protrusible, low on head; teeth small, conical, tips slightly depressed & either smooth or with multiple small points; dorsal fin VI, 26-27; anal II, 27-29; pectoral 17-19 rays; pelvics I, 3; 2 pairs of cutting keels on plates on narrow tail base; tail straight to slightly rounded, with long filament from each corner; scales very small, rough; lateral line complete.



Yellow-brown, with irregular thin blue bars along flank, and small blue spots above and below bars and on head; broad blue band before eye; lips blue; dorsal and anal yellow-brown with thin blue margins; tail dark, yellow rear border, filaments blue; male can change color to overall brilliant blue; juveniles brown with scattered small dark spots.

        Size: 60 cm.

        Habitat: rocky and coral reefs; juveniles benthic on sheltered habitats and rubble slopes; adults in midwater near exposed reef fronts.

Depth: 1-50 m; juveniles usually 5-15 m; adults usually 10-25 m.

An Indo-Pacific species; recorded as a vagrant from the Galapagos Islands.


   
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Biology

Occurs in deep lagoon and seaward reefs. Found forming loose schools along upper regions of deep drop-offs (Ref. 48637). Forms mid-water aggregations off steep slopes during the day to feed on zooplankton. Usually found alone or in pairs. Omnivorous. Has the ability to show or hide its blue markings (Ref. 9710). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 27115.
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Distribution

Range Description

Naso vlamingii is a wide-spread Indo-pacific unicorn fish, distributed from East Africa to French Polynesia and Hawaii, north to southern Japan, and south to the southern Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia. In the Eastern Pacific, this species is only found in the Galapagos Islands.
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Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, TEP non-endemic, Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans), "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific), All Pacific (West + Central + East)

Regional Endemism: All species, Eastern Pacific non-endemic, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic, Island (s), Island (s) only

Residency: Vagrant

Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
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Indo-West Pacific: East Africa, Seychelles, Madagascar and Réunion (western Mascarenes) east to Line Islands, Marquesas Islands and Tuamotu Archipelago, north to southern Japan, south to southern Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and New Caledonia; waif at G
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Indo-pan-Pacific: East Africa to the Galapagos Is. north to southern Japan, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia, Tuamotus, throughout Micronesia
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 1 (S) - 50 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 6; Dorsal soft rays (total): 26 - 27; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 27 - 29
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Size

Length max (cm): 60.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 600 mm TL
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Max. size

60.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 3145))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Occurs in deep lagoon and seaward reefs from 4 to over 50 m; during the day, it forms mid-water aggregations off steep slopes to feed on zooplankton. Usually found alone or in pairs. Omnivorous.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Adults develop a convexly rounded prominent snout and unusually tall dorsal and anal fins. Side of body with vertical blue lines which break up into small blue spots dorsally and ventrally. A broad blue band extending from eye to front of rostral protuberance (Ref 9808).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Naso vlamingii occurs in deep lagoons and seaward coral reefs. This species is often found forming loose schools along upper regions of deep drop-offs to depths of 50 m. It forms mid-water aggregations off steep coral slopes to feed upon zooplankton during the day.

Systems
  • Marine
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Depth: 1 - 50m.
From 1 to 50 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 1 - 50 m (Ref. 9710), usually 1 - 50 m (Ref. 27115)
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Depth range based on 39 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 36 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1.9825 - 100
  Temperature range (°C): 25.073 - 29.336
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.054 - 2.589
  Salinity (PPS): 34.134 - 35.312
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.080 - 4.727
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.092 - 0.349
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.089 - 5.493

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1.9825 - 100

Temperature range (°C): 25.073 - 29.336

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.054 - 2.589

Salinity (PPS): 34.134 - 35.312

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.080 - 4.727

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.092 - 0.349

Silicate (umol/l): 1.089 - 5.493
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Salinity: Marine, Marine Only

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Near Surface, Mid Water, Near Bottom, Bottom, Bottom + water column

Habitat: Reef (rock &/or coral), Reef only, Rocks, Corals, Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)

FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated
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Trophic Strategy

Occurs in deep lagoon and seaward reefs. Found forming loose schools along upper regions of deep drop-offs (Ref. 48637). Forms mid-water aggregations off steep slopes during the day to feed on zooplankton. Usually found alone or in pairs. Omnivorous. Has the ability to show or hide its blue markings (Ref. 9710). Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 27115.
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Feeding

Feeding Group: Planktivore, Herbivore

Diet: benthic microalgae, benthic macroalgae, zooplankton, pelagic fish larvae
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Diseases and Parasites

Prosorchiopsis Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Preptetos Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Lecithocladium Infestation 3. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Cleptodiscus Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Egg Type: Pelagic, Pelagic larva
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Naso vlamingii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Naso vlamingii

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACCCTTTATTTAGTATTTGGTGCTTGAGCTGGAATAGTAGGCACAGCCTTAAGTCTACTTATTCGGGCAGAACTAAGCCAACCAGGCGCCCTCCTCGGAGATGACCAAATTTATAATGTAATTGTTACAGCACATGCTTTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATCATAATTGGAGGATTTGGAAACTGACTAATCCCCCTAATAATCGGAGCCCCAGATATGGCATTCCCCCGAATAAACAACATGAGCTTTTGACTGCTCCCTCCCTCTTTCCTCCTCCTCCTTGCATCATCTGGTGTTGAAGCTGGGGCCGGAACCGGATGAACAGTCTACCCCCCTTTAGCCGGTAACCTGGCACATGCAGGAGCTTCCGTTGATCTGACTATTTTCTCCCTTCATCTGGCAGGAATTTCCTCAATTCTAGGGGCAATTAACTTTATCACGACCATTATTAATATGAAACCTCCTGCTATTTCTCAATATCAAACTCCCCTATTCGTCTGAGCTGTGCTAATCACAGCAGTACTACTGCTTCTTTCTCTCCCAGTTCTTGCTGCTGGTATTACAATGCTCCTTACCGACCGAAACCTTAATACAACCTTCTTCGACCCTGCAGNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Dominici-Arosemena, A., Molina, H., Robertson, R. & Smith-Vaniz, B.

Reviewer/s
Beresford, A., Chenery, A., Collen, B., Ram, M. & Richman, N.

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.

Justification
This species is widespread in the Indo-Pacific. There are no major threats known, and there is no current indication of widespread population decline. It is listed as Least Concern. However, continued monitoring and research on this species population is needed given that it is associated with coral reefs and is occasionally harvested for subsistence fisheries and the aquarium trade.

History
  • 2010
    Least Concern
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IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Population

Population
There is no population information available for Naso vlamingii.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known to this species, however it is harvested by subsistence fisheries and for the aquarium trade. It is associated with coral reefs, a habitat that can be locally degraded by water pollution, human pollution pressures, overfishing, tourism, Crown of Thorns outbreaks and coral bleaching.

Surgeonfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reef while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. The majority of surgeonfishes are exclusively found on coral reef habitat, and of these, approximately 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and degradation of coral reef habitat quality across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of coral reef habitat loss and degradation on these species populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that recruit into areas with live coral cover especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Naso vlamingii. However, the distribution of this species may fall with numerous designated marine protected areas, including Apo Island Marine Reserve in the Philippines. Apo Island marine reserve is a no-take reserve and N. vlamingii biomass is reported to have tripled inside the reserve from 1983 to 2001. Outside the reserve, but close to the reserve boundary, N. vlamingii biomass has increased by a factor of 40 (Russ et al. 2003). Therefore habitat conservation measures, such as the establishment and management of no-take zones and marine protected areas are needed to effectively conserve populations of this species.

Monitoring of this species, its habitat status, harvest levels and threats should be undertaken, to accurately determine the impact of coral reef degradation and fisheries on the population of N. vlamingii in the future. Research should also be conducted on species specific conservation measures for N. vlamingii, to try and reduce further negative impact on the population of this species.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial; price category: medium; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family
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Wikipedia

Naso vlamingii

Naso vlamingii is a species of fish in the unicornfish family known by the common names bignose unicornfish, scibbled unicornfish, Vlaming's unicornfish, and zebra unicornfish.[1]

Young specimen

Description[edit]

This is a relatively large member of the Acanthuridae, easily reaching 60 centimeters. The adult has tall dorsal and anal fins, vertical blue lines on its sides, and small blue spots dorsally and ventrally. A broad blue band extends from the eyes to the prominent snout. The coloration of the juvenile is a dingy green with blue spots and lips, later turning deeper blue with purple markings. The fish turns mud-brown while sleeping or when frightened, a form of camouflage.

Diet[edit]

This fish is mostly herbivorous but will eat small crustaceans such as copepods, brine shrimp and mysid shrimp. Most of its natural diet is algae.

Range[edit]

This tang is found in the Indo-Pacific oceans off the coasts of East Africa, on the islands of the Marquesas and Tuamotu, southern Japan and southern areas of the Great Barrier Reef. It is most often found in association with reefs and coastal lagoons, sometimes in small schools.

Economic value[edit]

N. vlamingii has little to no value to commercial fishers but is occasionally available in the marine aquarium industry, where it is a higher-priced, rarer tang.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dominici-Arosemena, A., et al. 2012. Naso vlamingii. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on 02 June 2013.
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