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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: unicornfish (English), pez-unicornio (Espanol)
 
Naso brevirostris (Cuvier, 1829)


Spotted unicornfish



Body elongate, oval; snout short, almost vertical; adult with long, broad-based tapering horn before eye, (a bump on forehead of juveniles); mouth small, protrusible, low on head; teeth small, conical, tips slightly depressed & either smooth or with multiple small points; dorsal fin VI, 27-29; anal II, 27-29; pectoral 16-17 rays; pelvics I, 3; 2 pairs of cutting keels on plates on narrow tail base; tail fin edge straight to slightly rounded, without filaments; scales very small, rough; lateral line complete.


Olive-brown to grey; many small dark spots on head and lower body, many thin dark bars on upper body; tail whitish with dark blotch at base.

        Size: 60 cm.

        Habitat: reefs and rocky shores; juveniles in sheltered habitats; adults in mid-water around exposed reef fronts.

Depth: 0-45 m; juveniles usually 2-20 m; adults usually 5-30 m.

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

Inhabit mid-waters along steep outer lagoon and seaward reef drop-offs. Also found along rocky shores (Ref. 30573, 48637). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Usually in small groups but form large schools in oceanic locations or on reefs subject to strong currents (Ref. 48637). Juveniles and subadults feed on benthic algae; adults feed on zooplankton. Pair spawning has been observed. Caught with nets (Ref. 30573).
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Distribution

Range Description

Naso brevirostris is found from the Red Sea south to Durban, eastwards to Pitcairn Islands and Hawaiian Islands, northwards to southern Japan, southwards to Lord Howe Island and Ningaloo Reef off western Australia. In the eastern Pacific, it is 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-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian, Marquesan and Ducie islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island.
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Red Sea, Indo-Pacific: East Africa, South Africa, Seychelles, Madagascar and Mascarenes east to Galapagos Archipelago, north to southern Japan, Ogasawara Islands and Hawaiian Islands, south to New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island.
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 0 (S) - 45 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 6; Dorsal soft rays (total): 27 - 29; Analspines: 2; Analsoft rays: 27 - 30
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Size

Length max (cm): 60.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 600 mm FL
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Max. size

60.0 cm FL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 1602))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Inhabits mid-waters along steep outer lagoon and seaward reef dropoffs at depths of 4 to more than 46 m. Juveniles and subadults feed on benthic algae; adults on zooplankton. Pair spawning has been observed.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Adults bluish grey to olivaceous brown in color, commonly pale anteriorly and on cheek and throat; short irregular lines on sides of body; diagonal lines on horn; lip edges blue (Ref. 3145). Subadults with dark spots on head and body (Ref. 3145). Juveniles lack the prominent horn of adults (Ref. 1602).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Naso brevirostris occurs on coral reefs or over rocky substrata. Juveniles and subadults graze on benthic algae; adults feed primarily on zooplankton (Randall 2001b). Food items include green filamentous algae and gelatinous zooplankton (Choat et al. 2002). Ontogenetic change in diet tends to occur by at least 20 cm (SL) (Green and Bellwood 2009).

The number of sagital increments in a study done by Choat and Axe (1996) suggest that members of the genus Naso attain the same maximum ages as the other Acanthurids, in excess of 20 years for this species. Maximum age was 25 years (Choat and Robertson 2002a).

Reproduction
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). This species was observed to form spawning aggregations on the Great Barrier Reef (Johannes 1981, Squire and Samoilys unpub.). Size at sexual maturity is 250 mm (Choat and Robertson 2002a). The large pelagic larvae persist in the pelagic environment for approximately 90 days (B.Victor pers. comm. in Horne et al. 2008).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 2 - 122 m (Ref. 58302), usually 4 - 46 m (Ref. 27115)
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Depth range based on 19 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 13 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 64
  Temperature range (°C): 23.741 - 29.039
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.019 - 1.522
  Salinity (PPS): 34.370 - 35.173
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.387 - 4.838
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.131 - 0.254
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.005 - 4.599

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2 - 64

Temperature range (°C): 23.741 - 29.039

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.019 - 1.522

Salinity (PPS): 34.370 - 35.173

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.387 - 4.838

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.131 - 0.254

Silicate (umol/l): 1.005 - 4.599
 
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Depth: 2 - 46m.
From 2 to 46 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Spotted unicorn.  (Valenciennes, 1835) Reported to attain 60 cm. But 50 cm is large for this species. Indo Pacific, south to Durban, with young drifting to Algoa Bay. Feeds on benthic algae when young, shifting to zooplankton as adults. The change in food habits may be associated with the development of the long horn which would impede grazing on algae. Adults have been observed feeding on algae on the tips of reef where the horn does not get in the way.
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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

Inhabits mid-waters along steep outer lagoon and seaward reef drop-offs. Also found along rocky shores (Ref. 30573, 48637). Present in seagrass beds at juvenile stage (Ref. 41878). Usually in small groups but forms large schools in oceanic locations or on reefs subject to strong currents (Ref. 48637). Juveniles and adults feed on benthic and filamentous algae (Ref. 3921, 58882); adults also feed on zooplankton (Ref. 58882).
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Feeding

Feeding Group: Planktivore, Herbivore

Diet: benthic microalgae, benthic macroalgae, zooplankton, pelagic fish larvae
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Paired spawning (Ref. 240).
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Reproduction

Egg Type: Pelagic, Pelagic larva
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Naso brevirostris

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 26
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Naso brevirostris

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


No available public DNA sequences.

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
Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Naso brevirostris is widespread and cosmopolitan, occupying a wide range of habitats. It is the most abundant Naso on the Great Barrier Reed and in the central Indian Ocean (Western Australia and Cocos-Keeling Islands (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010). It is not specifically targeted in multi-species fisheries. There is no evidence of declines from harvesting. It occurs in a marine protected areas in parts of its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
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IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Population

Population
Naso brevirostris was recorded as occasional in terms of relative abundance in the northern Bismarck Sea, Papua New Guinea and in Raja Ampat, Indonesia (Allen 2009, 2003b). It is moderately common in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea (Allen 2003). It is rare in the American Samoa National Park (National Park of Samoa Checklist of Fishes, accessed 21 April 2010). It is rare in the Philippines from fish visual census surveys (R. Abesamis and C. Nanola pers. comm. 2010). It is the most abundant Naso in Cocos (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).

At Moorea, French Polynesia, SPOT satellite images allowed estimation of the surface area of fringing reef (1,076 ha), barrier reef (3,788 ha) and outer slop (493 ha). A total of 30,843 individuals were recorded in this area in fish visual surveys conducted from 1990-1993 (Lecchini et al. 2006). It is rare in the fish landings data from Guam (<1%) of the acanthurid fishery (Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources unpub. data). It is not recorded from the fishery in Saipan during 2008-2009 (P. Houk unpub. data).

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)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps with several marine protected areas within its range. In Queensland, Australia, there is a recreational catch limit of five per species and a minimum size limit of 25cm (Department of Primary Industries accessed 8 April 2010).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Spotted unicornfish

The short-nosed unicornfish or spotted unicornfish (Naso brevirostris)[1] is a species of unicornfish in the family Acanthuridae found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.[2][3] Another species, Naso maculatus, may also be called the spotted unicornfish.

The short-nosed unicornfish can be easily found in the coral reef area around Green Island, Taiwan

References[edit]

  1. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Naso brevirostris" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
  2. ^ "Spotted unicornfish - Aquarium Community". 
  3. ^ "Spotted Unicornfish - fish.gov.au". 
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