Asquamiceps caeruleus

Common Name

Blueheaded Smoothhead

Year Described

Markle, 1980


Dorsal Fin: 16-18
Anal Fin: 15-17
Pectoral Fin: 14-16
Pelvic Fin: 5
Lateral Line: absent
Gill Rakers: 22-27 (total on first arch)
Pyloric Caeca: 9-11
Branchiostegal rays: 5-7
Vertebrae: 21-22 precaudal, 20-22 caudal

Body moderately elongate and slender, with a very large head. Eyes smaller than snout. Teeth present on dentary but absent on the maxilla, premaxilla, palatine, and vomer. One supramaxilla above the maxilla. Rear margin of jaw extends beyond the posterior margin of orbit. Dorsal fin origin about even with anal fin. Pelvic fins very small. Pectoral fin short and fan-like; overlapped by posterior opercular flap. Scales absent on head. Scales are larger on dorsal and ventral midline, forming a low ridge.


Body black with a bright cobalt blue head. Bases of fins light blue.


Maximum size to 34cm SL.


Bathypelagic from 1,900-2,740m.


Western Gulf of Mexico and off eastern Brazil.


Costa, P.A.S.; Braga, A.C.; Melo, M.R.S.; Nunan, G.W.A.; Martins, A.S.; & Olavo, G. 2007. Assembleias de teleósteos demersais no talude da costa central brasileira. p. 87–107. In: Costa, P.A.S.; Olavo, G.; Martins, A.S. (eds.). Biodiversidade da fauna marinha profunda na costa central brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Museu Nacional (Série Livros 24).

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.