Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 6 spines and 26-27 rays. Anal fin with 2 spines and 26-29 rays. Pectoral rays 17-19. Body depth varying from 2.1 in standard length of young to 2.6 in adults. Both dorsal and anal fins elevated. In adults, bump on snout overhanging mouth, and filaments extending from caudal fin corners.
Colour: Dark purple brown with vertical blue lines on sides, and blue dots above and below. A broad irregular deep violet band extending forward from the eye. Colour can change dramatically with mood.
Habitat and Biology: Found in a variety of reef habitats, but most often seen in outer reef areas in open water near drop-offs at depths up to 50 m. Feeds on midwater zooplankton.
Remarks: Naso vlamingii is a very common inhabitant of Maldivian reefs. Although it feeds on zooplankton, it readily takes bread from divers and snorkellers. Often plays in divers’ bubbles.