Naso unicornis

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Common Name
Bluespine Unicornfish
Binomial Name
Naso unicornis
Naso unicornis 01.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Acanthuridae
Genus: Naso
Species: unicornis

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Common Names

  • Bluespine Unicornfish
  • Large Unicorn Tang
  • Green Naso Tang



Adults develop blue lips and males eventually develop long tail streamers and a protruding horn (Nabetta).

Similar Species

Any species that look similar to this one, that may be mixed up.

Maximum Size

50-70cm [1]

Associated Organisms



Compatible with most species. If small shy fish are kept, they should be added first. Though fairly peaceful, it is a bold feeder, and very active.

Captive Care

Tank Size

Since the fish grows to 50-70 cm and that it it should attain 80% of this growth in the first 15% of its life [2], a large tank is warranted. Furthermore the adults are open water swimmers. At the very least an 8 x 2.5 x 2 would give the fish some room to swim and turn around.

Water Flow





In the wild they prefer brown algae such as Saragassum and gelatinous zooplankton[1]. Juveniles should be offered assorted macro algae and adults various meaty foods & algae to replicate their natural diet: eg assorted frozen foods and DIY mix.

Growth Rate

As noted earlier, the fish grows rapidly in the early years of its life. Unfortunately stunting can occur in an unfavourable environment (see [2] for further reading).


They are vulnerable to the same diseases as other WC fish.


Addition things / items that are important for care in captivity.




Does it have any fish that it should not be housed with?


Usually coral safe


Is it compatible with other invertebrates such as molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms?


How it reproduces, how suitable it is to breeding or captive propagation, techniques on how to etc.

Local Ecology


Widely distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea and East Africa across to Hawaii and north to southern Japan. Also south as far as Lord Howe Island. [1]


Reef associated. Juveniles are found in shallow protected areas such as bays, while adults frequent areas with surge, eg channels, lagoons [1].

Additional Information

Very hardy once established.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 ( Froese, R., Pauly, D. Fish Base, World Wide Web electronic publication, 2008, Retrieved: 11 March 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 ( Schultz, H., Unicorns: More Than a Myth in Reef Aquariums; The Genus Naso, Reefkeeping Magazine, 4(6), 2005.