Naso lituratus Forster in Bloch and Schneider, 1801, probably Tahiti, French Polynesia.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Nason a йperon orange; German: Gelbklingen- Nasendoktor; Japanese: Miyako-tenguhagi.
The body is compressed and disc-like, although it elongates with growth. The snout is pronounced, and the forehead slants at a 45-degree angle from just forward of the dorsal fin. The caudal peduncle consists of two peduncular plates, each featuring a large keel facing forward. The caudal fin is emarginate and sexually dimorphic; the males have filaments that trail from each corner of the fin. There are six spines and 28–31 soft rays in the dorsal fin, two spines and 29–31 soft rays in the anal fin, 17–18 soft rays in the pectoral fin, and one spine and three soft rays in the pelvic fin. The body is dark grayish brown with a yellowish patch on the nape, a yellow margin along either side of the snout from the eye to just behind the mouth, a black snout, and an orange mouth. The peduncular plates and keels are bright orange. The dorsal fin is black with a thin blue margin at the base and a broader blue margin along the outer edge. The caudal fin is also black, with a yellow submarginal band on the edge. The anal fin is yellow at the base, followed by an orange band, a narrow submargin of light blue, and a narrow outer margin of black. The pelvic fin is yellow, and the pectoral fin is a faint black. Grows to about 18 in (46 cm) in length.
Western Pacific, from Surugu Bay, Honshu, Japan, south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia, and east to the Hawaiian and Pitcairn Islands; recently reported from Clipperton Island in the Eastern Pacific. Also found in the eastern Indian Ocean from the coast of Western Australia south to Ningaloo Reef. Replaced by N. elegans in the western Indian Ocean, including southern Indonesia, and the Red Sea.
Coral and rocky reefs in tropical and subtropical waters, generally above 98 ft (30 m) but occasionally as deep as 295 ft (90 m).
Occurs singly or in small groups.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Herbivorous. Browses on benthic algae but favors tough or leafy species from the genera Sargassum, Dictyota, and Pocockiella.
Reported to spawn in pairs but also may spawn in aggregations. Eggs and larvae are pelagic. Larval life is lengthy, in excess of 69 days.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Taken in subsistence and artisanal fisheries and a popular target of spearfishers. Juveniles and subadults also are collected for the aquarium trade.
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