Naso lituratus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Other Common Names:
Clown Surgeonfish, Liturate Surgeonfish, Lipstick Tang, Orangespine Unicornfish.
The distribution of this species extends from Hawai'i southward to central Polynesia, westward through Micronesia and Melanesia, through the East Indies, and across the Indian Ocean to the coast of Africa and the Red Sea.
The body of this fish is light to dark gray. It has a patch of bright yellow on the forehead with an yellow accented line that extends from below the eye down to behind the mouth. Its lips are orange. The dorsal fin is blue at the base, then black, and then ends with a white band along the outer margin. The anal fin is brownish orange at the base, turning to a brighter orange, with the outer margin trimmed in white. The tail has a crescent shaped border that is white inside, changing to a pale yellow color on the outside edge. The male has long, streamer pennants that extend off the top and bottom tips of the tail.
Characteristics & Compatibility:
This is a fish that once adjusted to aquarium life has great personality. It can be trained to eat food right out of your hands. It is one of the more aggressive Surgeonfish species when it comes to territorial disputes with other Surgeonfishes, especially of its own kind, but generally will get along with other fish tank mates and invertebrates. It is an interesting trait that they will attack each other, considering that they do congregate in small groups or schools in the wild.
Diet & Feeding:
This fish is a herbivore, with a diet preference for brown macroalgae. Some specimens may be reluctant to eat anything else, but for the most part this species will usually accept the basic tank fed diet for Tangs & Surgeonfishes. On rare occasions an individual may pick at large-polyped corals.
Minimum Tank Size:
55 gallon for smaller specimens to 135 gallons for full grown adults.
Reef Tank Suitable?:
We give the Naso Tang a ** Fish Care Rating Level, as long as it is a specimen that is already eating well when you buy it, you give it plenty of room, and provide it with ample macroalgae growth for grazing on, preferably brown types. This fish is very majestic looking and definitely has personality, plus!