Rouleina attrita

Common Name

Softskin Smoothhead

Year Described

Vaillant, 1888


Dorsal Fin: 18-21
Anal Fin: 18-21
Pectoral Fin: 6-7
Pelvic Fin: 6-7
Gill Rakers: 24-29 (total in first arch)
Pyloric Caeca: 7-11
Vertebrae: 19-22 precaudal, 22-26 caudal
Branchiostegal Rays: 5-6
Lateral Line Scales: 43-48

Body moderately elongate and slender, with a very large head. Body thickest anteriorly, tapering posteriorly. Eye diameter similar to snout length. Snout blunt. Premaxilla, maxilla, and dentary with teeth; palatine and vomer without teeth. Rear margin of jaw extends beyond posterior margin of orbit. Two supramaxilla above maxilla. Dorsal fin origin directly over anal fin origin (fins the same size). Pectoral and pelvic fins small. Body naked except for ring-like lateral line scales. Papillae are present along lateral line, along fin bases, and along fin rays. Photophores absent.


Uniformly black.


Maximum size to 38cm SL.


Benthopelagic from 1,400-2,100m.


Canada to N. South America, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, to 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.

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.