Snubnose Drummer, Kyphosus cinerascens (Forsskål 1775)

Other Names: Blue Sea Chub, Highfin Chub, Topsail Drummer

A Snubnose Drummer, Kyphosus cinerascens, in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Source: Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

A silvery-grey drummer with fine horizontal lines along the side, distinctly elevated (tall) fin rays on the rear of the dorsal and anal fins, and a more pointed snout than other drummer species.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Kyphosus cinerascens in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jul 2024,

Snubnose Drummer, Kyphosus cinerascens (Forsskål 1775)

More Info


Coastal and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to central New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Eslewhere the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific and Mid Atlantic (Caribbean).
Often forms mixed schools with other Kyphosus  species.


This species was previously thought to be restricted to Indo-Pacific Ocean, however images and molecular studies indicate that the Snubnose Drummer also occurs in the Caribbean region of the Atlantic (Knudsen & Clements 2013).

Similar Species

This species has taller fin rays on the rear of the dorsal and anal fins than other drummer species.

Species Citation

Sciaena cinerascens Forsskål 1775, Descriptiones Animalium: 53. Type locality: Red Sea (neotype)


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Snubnose Drummer, Kyphosus cinerascens (Forsskål 1775)


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21 

Alleyne, H.G. & Macleay, W.J. 1877. The ichthyology of the Chevert Expedition. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1(3–4): 261-281, 321-359, pls 3-9, 10-17. (p. 275, pl. 9(1) as Pachymetopon squamosum; p. 277, pl. 9(2) as Scorpis vinosa)

Carpenter, K.E., Robertson, R., Pina Amargos, F., Curtis, M. & Knudsen, S. 2015. Kyphosus cinerascens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T46086162A46664684. Downloaded on 11 August 2016.

Choat, J.H., K.D. Clements, K.D. & Robbins, W.D. 2002. The tropic status of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. 1. Dietary analyses. Marine Biology 140: 613-623. 

Choat, J.H., K.D. Clements, K.D. & Robbins, W.D. 2004. The trophic status of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs 2: Food processing modes and trophodynamics. Marine Biology 145: 445-454. 

Clements, K.D. & Choat, J.H. 1995. Fermentation in tropical marine herbivorous fishes. Physiological Zoology 68(3): 355-378.

Crossman, D.J., Choat, J.H. & Clements, K.D. 2005. Nutritional ecology of nominally herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. Marine Ecology Progress Series 296: 129-142.
Cuvier, G.L. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1831. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 7 531 pp. pls 170-208. (as Pimelepterus indicus)

Dor, M. 1984. CLOFRES, Checklist of the Fishes of the Red Sea. Jerusalem : Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities 437 pp. 2 figs. 

Forsskål, P. 1775. Descriptiones Animalium Avium, Amphibiorum, Piscium, Insectorum, Vermium; quæ in Itinere Orientali observavit Petrus Forskål. Post Mortem Auctoris edidit Carsten Niebuhr. Adjuncta est Materia Medica Kakirina atque Tabula Maris Rubri Geographica. Hauniæ : Mölleri 1-19, i-xxxiv, 164 pp., 1 map. 

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270 

Hutchins, J.B., Williams, D.McB., Newman, S.J., Cappo, M. & Speare, P. 1995. New records of fishes for the Rowley Shoals and Scott/Seringapatam Reefs, off north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 17: 119-123 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Knudsen, S.W. & Clements, K.D. 2013. Revision of the fish family Kyphosidae (Teleostei: Perciformes). Zootaxa 3751(1): 1-101 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Thompson, A.A. 2003. Marine surveys undertaken in the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, March-April 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science 59 pp. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105 

Sakai, K. 2001. Kyphosidae. pp. 3290-3296 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp. 

Sakai, K. & Nakabo, T. 2006. Taxonomic reviews of two Indo-Pacific sea chubs, Kyphosus cinerascens (Forsskål, 1775) and Kyphosus sydneyanus (Günther, 1886). Ichthyological Research 53(4): 337-356 

Seale, A. 1906. Fishes of the South Pacific. Occasional Papers of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum 4(1): 1-89 figs 1-23 

Whitley, G.P. 1931. New names for Australian fishes. The Australian Zoologist 6(4): 310-334 1 fig. pls 25-27 (as Opisthistius squamosus)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37361022

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-45 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:38 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map