p Native Fish Australia

Butler's Grunter

Butlers grunter Syncomistes butleri

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Scientific Name
Syncomistes butleri

Other Common Names

Named for famous Australian naturalist the late Harry Buttler AO CBE

Commonly 150 - 200 mm, up to 250 mm

Conservation Status
Not threatened

Prefering deep rocky pools, this species uses a variety of habitats from sluggish, turbid lagoons to clear, swiftly flowing headwaters.  Know to tolerate temperatures in these waters as high as 34°C and pH as low as 4.3.

Butler's Grunter distribution areaDistributed in north-western Australia from the Drysdale and Ord River systems in Western Australia to the South Alligator River in the Northern Territory.



Not well known, believed to breed in November or December once water temperature has risen above around 29°C.

Herbivorous, adults feed mainly on filamentous algae with jaws modified for the purpose and a long, highly coiled intestine to aid in its digestion.  Also feeds on terrestrial plant material and detritus.

Not known as an angling species.

On the table
Not a table fish.

In the aquarium
Juveniles are suitable for keeping in aquaria, but adults are timid and easily alarmed.  Juveniles can be fed on a variety of small live foods and dried food, larger subjects will take frozen prawn and fish pellets.