Naso lituratus   (Forster,  1801) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Fabricio Justiniano

Size: 46.0 cm SL (male)

Color: Dorsal fin black, the black continuing as a pointed projection onto nape, with a pale blue line at base and a broad outer white zone on soft portion; anal fin mainly orange; dorsal and anal fins with a narrow blue margin and black submarginal line; caudal fin with a yellow submarginal band posteriorly.

Head 3.2-3.4 in standard length, 4.4-5.0 in total length. Depth of body 1.9-2.2 in standard length, 2.6-3.2 in total length. Eye diameter 3.4-3.8 in head, 2.0-2.7 in snout and 1.0-1.3 in almost flat interorbital space. Upper profile of head oblique, snout slightly concave in young, mouth slightly produced. Teeth with rounded tips, 12 to 15 on each side of upper jaw; 10 to 13 on each side of lower jaw. First dorsal spine longest, slightly longer than twice eye diameter, following spines gradually decreasing in length, last dorsal spine equal to or a little more than 1.5 eye diameter. Dorsal rays gradually decreasing in length to the last. Second anal spine longer than first, equal to or a little more than eye diameter. Pectoral fin more or less than length of snout, ventral fin shorter than pectoral. Caudal deeply lunate, lobes produced and filamentous with age. Two bony bucklers on each side of caudal peduncle, each with a broad compressed spine.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: VI, 28-29; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: II, 28-30; number of rays in the pectoral fin: ii, 15; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 3.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Paired spawning.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Monoceros garretti Seale, 1901
(Junior synonym)
Acanthurus lituratus Forster, 1801
(Senior synonym)
Aspisurus carolinarum Quoy & Gaimard, 1825
(Junior synonym)
Callicanthus lituratus (Forster, 1801)
(Senior synonym)
Naso lituratus (Forster, 1801)
(Senior synonym)
Prionurus eoume Lesson, 1831
(Junior synonym)
Acanthurus lituratus Bloch and Schneider, 1801
Naso lituratus de Beaufort, 1951
Naso literatus (Forster, 1801)

Common Name (s)
• Orangespine Unicornfish (English)
• Ammas (Mahl)
• Andungeli (Mahl)
• Kankettiyar (Malayalam)
• Karukkan (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, aquarium, Ornamental fish

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic, Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Primary Consumer
Prey:  Benthic algae/weeds (mainly on leafy brown algae like Sargassum and Dictyota), zooplankton


• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Red Sea
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy Island (Lat: 8.11) (Long: 73.3) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Ohman, M; Rajasuriya, A and Olafsson, E (1997) Reef fish assemblages in north western Sri Lanka: Distribution patterns and influences of fishing practises Enviornmental Biology of Fishes Kluwer Academic Publishers 49 45-61
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2005) Community organization of coral reef fishes in the rubble sub-habitat of Kavaratti Atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 47(1) 77-82 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • The age of aquariums Available at -
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2003) Habitat distribution and species diversity of coral reef fishes in the reefslope of the Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 45(1) 88-98 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at -
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -
  • Murty, VS (1996) Marine ornamental fishes of India Proceedings of the Seminar on Fisheries - A Multibillion Dollar Industry, Madras CMFRI 23-34 Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1959) The fishing industry of Minicoy Island with special reference to the tuna fishery Indian Journal of Fisheries Indian Council of Agricultural Research 6 (1) 30-57 Available at -
  • Murty, VS (2001) Ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep Bulletins of the Geological Survey of India 56 103-111 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-06-28

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