ANIMAL: Pacific Orange-Spine Unicornfish Naso lituratus Type of Animal: Tang/Surgeonfish Habitat: Shallow coral reefs, shallow areas over rocky bottoms, rock/coral areas in lagoons, rocks/coral remains in reefs, sheltered inshore reefs, rock/coral/rubble areas in seaward reefs, sheltered rocky shores, shallow rocky reefs, exposed outer reefs, found as deep as 295.276 ft Location(s): Indo-Pacific & Pacific ranging from Honshu in N to Great Barrier Reef/New Caledonia in S & as far E as Hawaii/Clipperton Island/Pitcairn/French Polynesia Appearance: Brownish gray to bluish gray fish w/ yellow nape & broad black band on continuous dorsal fin, orange lips, black face mask, yellowish gray to yellow ventral area, blackish gill rakers, blue tail fin w/ broad brownish yellow posterior border narrowing towards corners, breeding males have broad bluish white area on nape/anterior body area, 2 orange forward-hooked spines at tail base Food/Diet: Red/green/brown algae, seagrasses, vegetable matter, copepods, amphipods, mysis shrimp, plankton Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in aquariums, aquaculture, & zoos. Captive breeding reducing demand for wild-caught fish. Lifestyle: Schools of 2-20, juveniles sometimes found in even larger schools & territories often defended by group Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Acronurus Group: School Weight: Male: 8-9 oz Female: 5-7 oz Gestation: 1-2 days Life Span: 10-20 years in captivity, 20-40 years in wild Body Length: Male: 4.5-18 in Female: 4.5-12 in Important in keeping reefs healthy due to algae-eating diet. Without these fish, algal overgrowths can occur. These fish spawn in pairs/groups w/ fish rising to surface to release eggs/sperm. Eggs pelagic hatching 1-2 days after being released. Juveniles reach maturity at around a year old. Fun Fact(s): Males coloration intensifies when courting females & sometimes changes. Males also change color when displaying to rival males. Both sexes change color at night. These fish come w/ many names-Orange-Spine Unicornfish, Naso Tang, Clown Tang, Barcheek Unicornfish, Masked Unicornfish, Redlip Surgeonfish, Lipstick Tang, Lipstick Surgeonfish, Tricolor Tang, Painted Unicornfish, Smooth-Head Unicornfish, Orangespined Tang, Pacific Orange-Spine Unicorn, Striped Unicornfish, Poll Unicornfish, Orange-Spine Surgeonfish, Clown Surgeonfish, Black-Finned Unicornfish, & Striped-Faced Unicornfish. Get surgeonfish name due to venomous scalpels at tail base used in defense. These scalpels can cause nasty painful wounds. These fish known as kala in Hawaii & prized by Hawaiians as food fish & for tough skin used for drumheads. Someone skilled in self-defense known as “kala fish w/ a sharp tail” alluding to defensive tail scalpel.