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Blond naso tang

Naso elegans

Description: The Blonde naso tang, also known as the Orange-spine unicornfish, has an elongated grayish brown body as a juvenile. As it matures, the body darkens to bluish-gray. There is a thin yellow stripe running from the back of the mouth up to the eye and the dorsal fin is also yellow. Its snout is black and the lips are orangish. The lyre-shaped tail has elongated streamers from each corner. On either side of the caudal peduncle (base of tail) there is a spine surrounded by bright orange that is sharp like a surgeon’s scalpel.

Size: This tang grows to a maximum length of approximately 18 inches (45 cm).

Behavior: The Blonde naso tang occasionally occurs singly or in pairs, but most often in groups. Depending on their environment or mood, they have the ability to change color, becoming very dark.

Diet: This species is primarily a herbivore, feeding mainly on benthic algae.

Communication: During mating, males change color and exhibit a shimmering movement to attract females.

Reproduction: The male and female fish swim upward, releasing their sperm and eggs into the water where fertilization takes place. The eggs are pelagic.

Habitat/range: The Blonde naso tang is found among corals, seaward reefs and rocks and rubble in lagoons in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea.

Status: Listed as Least Concern on IUCN Red List.