Silver Drummer

Kyphosus Sydneyanus
Silver Drummer - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Kyphosus Sydneyanus
Other names Buff Bream, Buffalo Bream, Buffs, Common Buffalo Bream, Drummer Bream, Southern Silver Drummer, Sydney Drummer
Size Up to 80 cm (31 in)
Weight Up to 11 kg (24 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, sheltered bays, inlets & harbours, rocky areas & reefs
Depth Range 1 - 50 m (164 ft)
Silver Drummer Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Silver Drummer is a fish species that is found in the southern coastal waters of Australia, from WA to southern Queensland and Tasmania.
  • They are a schooling species, preferring the surge zones of reef areas. It’s common for them to school with their cousins the Gladius Drummer or Grey Drummer.
  • The Silver Drummer has a compressed, oval-shaped body with a small mouth and small, sharp teeth. They are known for their distinctive silver colour, with a silvery-green back and sides that fade to a silver-white belly.
  • They are herbivores, feeding on algae and weeds.
  • The Silver Drummer is a popular target for recreational fishing, known for its good fight when caught.
  • The breeding behaviour of the Silver Drummer is not well documented, but it is known to spawn during the warmer months of the year. They typically form large spawning aggregations in offshore waters, where they release their eggs and sperm into the water column. The eggs hatch into larvae, which drift with the currents until they settle into suitable habitats, such as seagrass beds or rocky reefs.
  • Estimated lifespan is up to 20 years with the fish maturing when reaching the length of 22 – 25cm (around 4 years of age).
  • The main predators of Silver Drummer include sharks, larger predatory fish & marine mammals.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing

Silver Drummer are a popular sports fish for rock fishing. They are mostly a catch and release species as they put up a great fight but are a poor to average eating fish.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Kyphosidae

Genus: Kyphosus

Species: Kyphosus sydneyanus

Conservation Status

There is little information on the conservation status of the Silver Drummer. This species has not been evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
However, as its a fast growing species there are limited concerns of over fishing.

Fish Taste Quality

Silver Drummer are known as an average table fish, with firm, white flesh that is suitable for a range of cooking methods, such as grilling, baking, and frying.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Silver Drummer

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Floater Rig

Bait: Sponge, Weed, Worms

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure, Slowly sink bait towards bottom

Popularity: Popular

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