Silver Drummer, Kyphosus sydneyanus (Günther 1886)

Other Names: Buff Bream, Buffalo Bream, Buffs, Common Buffalo Bream, Drummer Bream, Southern Silver Drummer, Sydney Drummer

A Silver Drummer, Kyphosus sydneyanus, at Fairy Bower, Manly, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Source: Richard Ling / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives


A large olive, silvery-grey or bronzy drummer, darker above, paler below, with a broad dark margin on the caudal fin, a rusty-coloured bar from the upper jaw across the gill cover, a pale bar under the eye and a small black spot at the lower edge of the pectoral-fin base.

Silver Drummer inhabit exposed coastal rocky reefs and often occur in large schools in the surge zone. 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Kyphosus sydneyanus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Jan 2020,

Silver Drummer, Kyphosus sydneyanus (Günther 1886)

More Info


Widely distributed in the southern half of Australia from about Fraser Island, QLD, to Shark Bay, WA, around Tasmania, also at Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere in northern New Zealand.


Herbivore - feeds on algae.


The Silver Drummer is a popular angling fish and is regarded as a tough fighter. However, it is considered by most people to be inedible.


The name sydneyanus is from Port Jackson, the type locality.

Species Citation

Pimelepterus sydneyanus Günther, 1886,  Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 5 18(36): 368. Type locality: Port Jackson, NSW.


Dianne J. Bray

Silver Drummer, Kyphosus sydneyanus (Günther 1886)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37361001

Behaviour:Sports fish, poor eating

Depth:0-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:80 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map