Deepwater sole (Bathysolea profundicola)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.Map Help



Bathysolea profundicola is an elongated pale brown sole with oval eyes and scaly eyelids. The maximum recorded size for this species is 21 cm. Both eyes are on the right side of the head. The upper eye is situated in advance of the lower eye, and the dorsal fin is above or before the eyes. The eyed side jaws are slightly arched posteriorly, while the blind side jaws are slightly shorter with a strong arch. The lips of the mouth are darkly pigmented on the eyed side. The eyed side of the body is uniformly pale brown with unpaired fins which are not markedly darker. The blind side of the body is whitish. There are 80 or more dorsal fin rays with the last usually shortened. The pelvic fins are symmetrical and short bodied with five rays.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded from deep water of more than 250 m, off south west Ireland.

Global distribution

Essentially an Atlantic Ocean species, also found locally in the Mediterranean Sea.


Bathysolea profundicola is a bathypelagic marine species, occuring on muddy or fine sandy bottoms of the continental slope, generally at depths of 200 to 600 m but within a depth range of 200 to 1350 m. Found in deep waters off temperate and tropical coasts of the East Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Eyed side of body uniformly pale brown, with unpaired fins not markedly darker.
  • Blind side of body whitish.
  • Last dorsal fin ray usually shortened.
  • Usually 80 or more dorsal fin rays
  • Pelvic fins symmetrical and short bodied with five rays.
  • Dark pigmentation of eyed side lips

Additional information

A commercially important species, reported to spawn throughout the year (Wheeler, 1969). Feeds mainly on polychaetes and some amphipods.

Listed by

- none -


  1. Desoutter, M. & Chapleau, F., 1997. Taxonomic status of Bathysolea profundicola and B. polli (Soleidae, Pleuronectiformes) with notes on the genus. Icthyological Research, 44, 339-412

  2. FishBase, 2000. FishBase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line], 2001-05-03

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. Wheeler, A., 1969. The fishes of the British Isles and north-west Europe. London: Macmillan.

  5. WoRMS 2007. The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)., 2008-10-31


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-05-27


This review can be cited as:

Sweet, N. A. 2008. Bathysolea profundicola Deepwater sole. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 27-05-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 06/08/2008