Orangespine Unicornfish (Naso lituratus)

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Orangespine Unicornfish

Orangespine Unicornfish

Naso lituratus

946 Litres (250 US G.)

40-46 cm (15.7-18.1")


8.1 - 8.4

22.2-25.6°C (72 -78 °F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Other (See article)

8-15 years



Additional names

Orangespine Unicornfish, Lipstick Tang, Naso Tang, Clown Surgeonfish, Liturate Surgeonfish, Masked Unicornfish

Additional scientific names

Acanthurus lituratus, Callicanthus lituratus, Aspisurus carolinarum


Pacific Ocean: Honshu, Japan south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia and east to the Hawaiian Islands, French Polynesia, and Pitcairn.
Eastern Pacific: Clipperton Island, Indo-Pacific species, Indian Ocean.


The male has more dramatic finnage with long, streamer-like pennants that extend off the top and bottom tips of the caudal.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Does best in a large tank with other non-aggressive fish. Reef safe.


Will graze on algae, preferring red and brown algae, and will also accept vegetarian foods such as spirulina as well mysis shrimp.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day, will graze the tank throughout the day.

Environment specifics[edit]

These are large active fish preferring a spacious tank with lots of open swimming space. A salinity level of 1.023-1.027 is preferred.


An active peaceful grazing fish.


Similar to Naso elegans. The N.lituratus has a tall and oval-shaped body with a perfect triangle for a caudal fin. The base colour of the fish is beige with a black forehead and eyes. The dorsal and anal fins are black and dark yellow respectively. Its common name refers to the red around the lips. The other common name of "Unicorn" derives from the "horn" that some specimens develop on their foreheads.
The Naso has two very sharp, razor-like caudal spines on each side of the tail that are surrounded by a bright orange area, so extreme care should be used when handling this fish.


External links[edit]