Spotted Unicornfish (species: Naso brevirostris) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Naso brevirostris
Spotted Unicornfish

©Cassy Thompson: Naso brevirostris at Snake Pit near Lizard Island

©Andy Lewis: Naso brevirostris at Lizard Island.

©Anne Hoggett: Naso brevirostris at Yonge Reef near Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Acanthuridae
Genus Naso
Species Naso brevirostris



Distinguishing features

Brown to grey, often paler anteriorly, subadults with small dark spots on head and body, adults with vertical lines on body. Usually a white line on edge of gill cover. Tail white with a large dark spot at base, truncate or slightly rounded, no trailing filaments. Adults with a horn that has near-horizontal darker lines, base of horn almost directly above snout, starts as a bump in juveniles about 10 cm long.


  • Up to 50 cm (Length of specimen)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

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 (1997). Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea: Second edition Crawford House Publishing, Bathurst, NSW.

Other references

  • Bellwood, D.R. and C.J. Fulton (2008). Sediment-mediated suppression of herbivory on coral reefs: decreasing resilience to rising sea levels and climate change? Limnology and Oceanography, 53: 2695-2701. LIRS catalog number 1259.
  • View all references