Sandpaper Fish, Paratrachichthys macleayi (Johnston 1881)

Other Names: Common Roughy, Sandpaperfish

A Sandpaper Fish, Paratrachichthys macleayi, at Maria Island, Tasmania, January 2015. Source: Graham Edgar, Reef Life Survey via smithsonian_marinegeo / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A bronze to greenish-yellow roughy with silvery sides, pink to yellowish and black fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Paratrachichthys macleayi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 07 Jul 2022,

Sandpaper Fish, Paratrachichthys macleayi (Johnston 1881)

More Info


Off Nambucca Heads, New South Wales,  to the Great Australian Bight, Western Australia (125°E), including around Tasmania.
Inhabits exposed reefs, at depths to 403 m. Nocturnal - small schools often shelter in caves and under ledges during the day.


Dorsal fin V, 13; Anal fin III, 10; Caudal fin 19; Pectoral fin 12-14; Pelvic fin I, 6; Lateral-line scales 48-52.
Body moderately deep; belly with row of strong scutes along abdomen; anus between pelvic-fin bases, encircled by black luminescent tissue; scutes present between anus and anal fin; scales small, rough. 

Species Citation

Trachichthys macleayi Johnston 1881, Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1880: 11, 56. Type locality: Derwent River, Tasmania.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Sandpaper Fish, Paratrachichthys macleayi (Johnston 1881)


Gomon, M.F. 1994. Families Trachichthyidae, Monocentridae. pp. 399-412 figs 358-369 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. 

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Trachichthyidae. pp. 420-430 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

Johnston, R.M. 1881. Description of two new species of fishes (Trachichthys macleayi and Mendosoma allporti) caught in the estuary of the Derwent. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1880: 54-57 

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

Moore, J. 2020. Paratrachichthys macleayi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T123359513A123360221. Downloaded on 17 June 2021.

Scott, T.D., Glover, C.J.M. & Southcott, R.V. 1974. The Marine and Freshwater Fishes of South Australia. Adelaide : Government Printer 392 pp. figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37255003


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-403 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:25 cm TL


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