Silver Drummer

Kyphosus sydneyanus

Kyphosus sydneyanus - Silver Drummer (Family Kyphosidae)
image_search Terms and anatomy

Size: 80 cm

Distribution: All SA coastal and gulf waters

Habitat: Rocky reef

Depth: Subtidal to 10+ metres

Kyphosus sydneyanus - Silver Drummer (Family Kyphosidae)
Kyphosus sydneyanus - Silver Drummer (Family Kyphosidae)

The Silver Drummer is one of the more common fish on rocky reefs in South Australia. Present in the upper to mid water column, it can be found in the open or in rocky crevices. This robust fish has a long, black dorsal and anal fin close to its body, and a slightly forked tail with a thick black margin. It is a silvery colour, and is usually heavily counter-shaded, although less so in younger individuals. Until recently, this was thought to be the only true Kyphosid present in SA waters, however there is growing evidence that the Western Australian Kyphosus gladius is also present here. This almost identical species is more elongate, usually less severely countershaded, and has a long, dark vertical bar on the operculum, compared to a much shorter bar on K. sydneyanus. These two species are usually very difficult to distinguish without expert consultation.