With the advent of SCUBA, the reef fish fauna has been substantially studied around the world, but the great majority of in situ studies have focused exclusively on a limited portion of this fauna, to depths of < 30 m. The present study represents the first SCUBA- based survey of the deep reef fishes off the Brazilian coast between 35 and 70 m. A species list was compiled based on visual observations, collections, video recording, and fishes obtained from commercial fishing boats. A total of 158 fish species belonging to 49 families was recorded. Thirty-two species were formally recorded for the first time from the study area, four of which [Apogon robbyi Gilbert, 1997; Coryphopterus eidolon Böhlke & Robins, 1960; Psilotris batrachodes Böhlke, 1963; and Xanthichthys ringens (Linnaeus, 1758)] represent new records for the western South Atlantic. Fifty-seven species had their depth range extended to depths > 40 m. The most species rich families were Carangidae (14 species), Gobiidae (12), Lutjanidae (11), Labridae (11), Serranidae (10), Haemulidae (8), and Scaridae (7). The presence of several species previously considered to have disjunct, or anti-equatorial distribution, indicates that the deep reefs may function as a faunal corridor between habitats in southeastern Brazil and the Caribbean.