Alepocephalus agassizii

Common Name

Agassiz's Smoothhead

Year Described

Goode & Bean, 1883


Dorsal Fin: 15-18
Anal Fin: 16-18
Pectoral Fin: 10-12
Pelvic Fin: 6-8
Lateral Line Scales: 80-90
Gill Rakers: 23-29 (total)
Pyloric Caeca: 15-23

Body moderately elongate and slender, with a very large head. Eyes larger than snout. Teeth present on premaxilla, lower jaw, and palatine but absent on the upper jaw and vomer. Two supramaxilla above the maxilla. Rear margin of jaw ends at the middle or posterior margin of orbit. Dorsal fin origin about even with anal fin. Pectoral and pelvic fins very small. Transverse scale rows from first lateral scale to dorsal fin number >40.


Uniformly black when intact, purplish to brown when scales are rubbed off.


Average size 50-70cm SL. Maximum size to 79cm SL.


Epibenthic from 600-2,400m over soft bottoms.


Davis Strait to the northern Caribbean, including the Gulf of Mexico.


McEachran, J.D. and J.D. Fechhelm. 1998. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 1: Myxiniformes to Gasterosteiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin. i-viii + 1-1112.

Whitehead, P.J.P. , M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J.G. Nielsen and E. Tortonese. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I-III. UNESCO. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean.