© Johan Boshoff


Surgeonfish or Unicornfish (Naso)




Unicornfish measure 40 cm on average but can be as long as 1 m.

Unicornfish Identification

Unicornfish have long, oval-shaped bodies. Their name derives from the horn located at the front of their heads. Like other surgeonfish, they have sharp spines on their tail bases or caudal peduncles. They differ in colour from a dull brown to bright silver, blue and yellow, and some are marked with spots.

Unicornfish General Info

The unicornfish belongs to the Naso genus which comprises of 19 species. They can be found in pairs or unaccompanied over reefs. Males sometimes develop long filamentous areas on the tail fin. They are calm creatures but can give injurious cuts when taunted. They are pelagic spawners.

Unicornfish Feeding

Unicornfish are herbivorous, feeding on algae, detritus and plankton.


They can be found in all tropical and temperate oceans across the world.

Common Species

Bluespine unicornfish
Naso unicornis
Humpback unicornfish
Naso brachycentron
Orangespine unicornfish
Naso lituratus