Black Drummer

Black drummer, also known as rock blackfish, black rockfish, Eastern rock blackfish, or Eastern rock blackfish drummer, is a marine species.

This fish is found in the southwest Pacific Ocean around northern New Zealand and eastern Australia.

An adult black drummer prefers to live in rocky reefs at depths of around 82 feet (25 m).

The young black drummer usually lives in shallow waters of rocky reefs and estuaries, mostly in seagrass areas

It tries to stay hidden during the day among rocks, caves, and ledges.


Given below is the scientific classification of the black drummer:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Kyphosidae

Genus: Girella

Species Scientific Name: Girella elevata

Black Drummer Appearance

The black drummer fish is blackish-brown to dark grey in color above the lateral line and dark off-white toward the belly area.

It has a somewhat deep, compressed oval body. Its small head has a slightly bulging forehead.

The outer teeth of a black drummer are flat and three-crowned. The inner ones are also the same but smaller in size.

Its dorsal fin has 11 or 12 soft rays and 14 to 16 spines. The anal fin also has the same number of soft rays but only 3 spines.

The tail fin is big, allowing it to move around comfortably in turbulent waters.

The average size of a black drummer is around 24 inches (62 cm).

It weighs around 2.2 lb to 4.4 lb (1 kg to 2 kg) but can sometimes be more than 6.6 lb (3 kg).

This fish has quite good strength for its size.

Here’s what a black drummer looks like in real life…

Black drummer

Black Drummer Lifespan

The black drummer is a slow-growing fish, and its lifespan is around 45 years. Yes, it’s a lot more than most other fish.

However, since the black drummer is a slow-growing fish, it’s susceptible to overfishing.

This is why the bag limit for this fish in NSW is only 10.

Black Drummer Feeding Habits

The black drummer is an omnivore and prefers to eat algae and a wide variety of invertebrates.

Interesting Facts About Black Drummer

The black drummer is a popular fish for fishing enthusiasts because it’s one of the toughest fighters.

It’s not so easy to catch this fish. That’s why it’s also called pigs.

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