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orange-spine unicornfishOrange-spine Unicornfish
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Class: Osteichthys Family: Acanthuridae Genus: Naso Species: lituratus 
Scientific name: Naso lituratus 
Common name: Orange spine Unicornfish
Hawaiian name: Umaumalei

Arguably one of the most spectacularly patterned of the unicorn fish, the Orange-spine Unicorn fish is found throughout the Pacific Ocean. It is associated with shallow water reefs and found to a maximum depth of around 300 feet. . The adult males are more brilliantly colored than females sporting extra long, trailing threads on their tail fin. A closely related species, N. elegans, inhabits the Indian Ocean.

Orange-spined Unicorn fish may be seen singly, but more commonly are found in small groups or feeding with other fish. Occasionally they have been reported in large aggregations (possibly for spawning). They feed in more sheltered waters on leafy seaweeds (such as Dictyota and Sargassum spp.) in lagoons and over rubble and rocks. During spawning they cast their eggs into the surface currents where their larvae will develop in the plankton before settling out at a different location on a new reef.

[Back to Reef Species Guide]