The Elegant Unicornfish (Naso elegans) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Acanthuridae family of surgeonfish and tangs. It is also known as the Indian Orange-Spine and the Smoothheaded Unicornfish.
The Elegant Unicornfish has a flat, oval-shaped body. It is purple-blue with a yellow dorsal (back) fin and forehead, a white tail with a blue margin, and orange spots on its tail. As it ages, it grows long, elegant filamentous lobes on its tail. It has big eyes and protruding orange lips. It does not have a sharp retractile blade on its caudal fin, like some surgeonfish have. Instead, it has a couple of sharp claws on its caudal fish that face towards its head.
It can grow to 30 centimetres (12 inches) in length.
The Elegant Unicornfish is found in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. It likes coral reefs and lagoons near the coast.
It feeds on algae and other marine plants.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM