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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits deep coastal, usually in small groups but occasionally in large schools (Ref. 48637). Sometimes solitary (Ref. 90102). An uncommon species found in seaward reef slopes (Ref. 9710, 48637), also along rocky shores (Ref. 30573). Feeds on benthic algae (Ref. 30573). Caught with nets (Ref. 30573).
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Distribution

Range Description

Naso brachycentron is found from East Africa to French Polynesia, northwards to Ryukyu Islands, Japan, southwards to the Great Barrier Reef, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Records from Hong Kong (To and Situ 2005) and Cook Islands (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2011) need to be verified.
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Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Marquesan and Society islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to Vanuatu.
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Indo-West Pacific: East Africa, South Africa and western Mascarenes east to Marquesas Islands and Society Islands, north to southern Japan, south to northern Australia, New Caledonia and Tonga.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 4 - 5; Dorsal soft rays (total): 28 - 30; Analspines: 2; Analsoft rays: 27 - 28
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Size

Maximum size: 900 mm FL
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Max. size

90.0 cm FL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 1602))
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Diagnostic Description

Distinctive humped back; horn only in adult males. A few scattered small dark-edged pale spots on postorbital head and body above pectoral fins. No white margin posteriorly on caudal fin. Profile of snout from mouth to eye strongly sloping, forming an angle of about 40° to horizontal axis of body (Ref 9808).Description: Characterized further by grey color of head and upper body; whitish to yellowish lower half of body; large male with diffuse dark bars on lower half; greatest depth of body 2.3 (subadults)-2.7 in SL (Ref. 90102).
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Description

Rare in Micronesia and probably occurs along steep outer reef slopes.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Naso brachycentron adults may be seen in shallow reef areas but are usually difficult to approach. It is occasionally encountered in small aggregations (Randall 2001a). It feeds on macroalgae (Choat et al. 2004). It is classified as a browser (Choat pers obs. in Green and Bellwood 2009). Maximum age recorded was 31 years (Choat and Robertson 2002a).

The sexes are separate and there is evidence of sexual dimorphism in the caudal knives which are relatively larger in males (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 8 - 30 m (Ref. 90102), usually 15 - 20 m (Ref. 48637)
  • Kuiter, R.H. and T. Tonozuka 2001 Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Zoonetics, Australia. p. 623-893. (Ref. 48637)
  • Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann 2012 Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: Universitiy of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research. (Ref. 90102)
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Depth range based on 12 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 9 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 9 - 55
  Temperature range (°C): 26.001 - 28.529
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.381 - 1.522
  Salinity (PPS): 34.454 - 35.217
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.406 - 4.592
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.126 - 0.254
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.942 - 4.599

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 9 - 55

Temperature range (°C): 26.001 - 28.529

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.381 - 1.522

Salinity (PPS): 34.454 - 35.217

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.406 - 4.592

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.126 - 0.254

Silicate (umol/l): 0.942 - 4.599
 
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Trophic Strategy

An uncommon species found in seaward reef slopes (Ref. 9710), also along rocky shores (Ref. 30573). Feeds on benthic algae (Ref. 30573).
  • Baensch, H.A. and H. Debelius 1997 Meerwasser atlas. Mergus Verlag GmbH, Postfach 86, 49302, Melle, Germany. 1216 p. 3rd edition. (Ref. 27115)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Spawn in pairs (Ref. 240).
  • Thresher, R.E. 1984 Reproduction in reef fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Ltd., Neptune City, New Jersey. 399 p. (Ref. 240)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Naso brachycentron

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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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
Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.

Reviewer/s
Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.

Contributor/s

Justification
Naso brachycentron is widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific region. It is occasionally found in most parts of its range. It is a targeted food fish but there have been no indications of population declines by fishing. There are no major threats and it is found in marine protected areas. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
Naso brachycentron was recorded as occasional in terms of relative abundance in Milne Bay Province, northern Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea and in Raja Ampat, Indonesia (Allen 2003, 2009, 2003b). It is rare in the American Samoa National Park (National Park of Samoa Checklist of Fishes, accessed 21 April 2010). In the Philippines, it is occasional in the central Visayas (R. Abesamis, C. Nanola and B. Stockwell pers. comm. 2010) and common in Tubbataha (S. Conales, Jr. pers. comm. 2010).

In Kenya, landings during 1978-2001 for families that are less important in commercial catches (e.g., scarinae and Acanthuridae) showed rising catches (1978-1984) followed by a general decline during the 1990s, but the landings for the scarinae showed a rising trend in recent years (Kaunda-Arara et al. 2003).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known for this species.

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)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. However, its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
  • Burgess, W.E., H.R. Axelrod and R.E. Hunziker III 1990 Dr. Burgess's atlas of marine aquarium fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey. 768 p.
  • Sommer, C., W. Schneider and J.-M. Poutiers 1996 FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of Somalia. FAO, Rome. 376 p. (Ref. 30573)
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Wikipedia

Humpback unicornfish

Humpback unicornfish (Naso brachycentron), from the Maldives

The humpback unicornfish (Naso brachycentron) is a species of unicornfish commonly found in tropical reefs, so named because of its distinctive humped back.[1][2] Its habitat includes most of the coastline of the Indonesian islands and some areas off the coast of Africa.[3]

References[edit]

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