Naso (genus)

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Temporal range: Eocene to present[1]
Nabre u0.gif
Short-nosed unicornfish, N. brevirostris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Acanthuridae
Genus: Naso
Lacépède, 1801

See text

Naso is a genus of fish in the surgeonfish family, Acanthuridae. Fish of this genus are known commonly as unicornfishes because of the "rostral protuberance", a hornlike extension of the forehead present in some species.[2] Unicorn fish are very popular with spearfishermen in Hawaii and often cook them by grilling them whole. Unicornfish primarily live around coral reefs and eat mostly algae.

This genus is distributed across the Indo-Pacific from Africa to Hawaii.[3]


The 20 currently recognized species in this genus are:[4]



  1. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera". Bulletins of American Paleontology. 364: 560. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  2. ^ Dayton, C. (2001). Genetic evolution among selected members of the genus Naso (Nasinae), "unicornfishes" from Guam. Marine Biology 139(4), 771-76.
  3. ^ Borden, W. C. (1998). Phylogeny of the unicornfishes (Naso, Acanthuridae) based on soft anatomy. Copeia 1998(1) 104-13.
  4. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). Species of Naso in FishBase. December 2012 version.