Sleek Unicornfish (species: Naso hexacanthus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Naso hexacanthus
Sleek Unicornfish

©Anne Hoggett: Naso hexacanthus at Day Reef near Lizard Island

©Anne Hoggett: Naso hexacanthus at Day Reef near Lizard Island

©Paul Caiger: Naso hexacanthus in spawning colours at Hicks Reef near Lizard Island, 11 Dec 2014
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Acanthuridae
Genus Naso
Species Naso hexacanthus



Distinguishing features

Dark above, yellowish below although colour can be changed quickly. No forehead horn. Adults with a pair of blades on the tail peduncle. White mouth interior conspicuous. Gill cover with a dark diagonal stripe and dark outline. 


  • Up to 75 cm (Length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Outer reefs near Lizard Island: Common on steep dropoffs below about 12 m depth.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.
  • Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene (1990). Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Other references

  • Borden, W.C. (1998). Phylogeny of the unicornfishes (Naso, Acanthuridae) based on soft anatomy, Copeia, 1998(1): 104-113. LIRS catalog number 528.
  • View all references