A beautiful creature with its fascinating coloring and delicate curling arms, the blue-ringed octopus is quite deadly as well. The creature can be recognized by its blue and black rings and yellowish skin. It is a soft-bodied animal with a sack-like body and eight arms, covered with suckers. The octopus starts its life with the size of a pea and when fully grown, it reaches the size of a golf ball. These have powerful toxins contained in its saliva, which is fatal. When threatened, 50 to 60 blue rings on its body appear brighter, making its presence known to predators. Fish, crabs, mollusks, wounded fish and invertebrates form part of their diet. There are 3 species of blue-ringed octopus, namely, greater blue-ringed octopus, southern blue-ringed octopus and blue-lined octopus. Blue-ringed octopus can live up to 2 years. Read through the following lines to know some more interesting facts and amazing information on the blue-ringed octopus.
Species: Hapalochlaena lunulata, Hapalochlaena maculosa, Hapalochlaena fasciata
Length: 5-8 inches
Weight: 26 g
Lifespan: 2 years
Diet: Crabs, fish and mollusks.
Habitat: Shallow marine waters and tide pools.
Age of Sexual Maturity: 1 year
Gestation Period: 6 months
Number of Offspring: 50 in lifetime
Interesting & Amazing Information On Blue-Ringed Octopus
- Blue-ringed octopus is considered as one of the world’s most venomous animals.
- The mystifying creature is found in temperate waters of southern Australia, ranging from southwestern Australia to eastern Victoria, at depths from 0 to 50 m. It also inhabits the western Pacific Ocean.
- The octopus is also found in shallow reefs and tide pools from northern Australia to Japan, including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Philippines, and Indonesia and as far west as Sri Lanka, at depths ranging from 0 to 20 m.
- One bite from the blue-ringed octopus can completely paralyze and kill an adult human, in a matter of minutes.
- The creature is grey or beige in color, with light brown patches when at rest. When it is agitated, the 50 or 60 blue rings appear and pulsate with color, as a warning.
- The octopus carries enough poison to kill 26 adults within minutes.
- Blue-ringed octopus spends most of its day hidden in the nest and is most active after dark.
- The last thing a victim of the octopus is able to see are the blue rings, visible only when the creature is about to attack.
- Since it has no skeleton, it is very flexible and maneuverable and can squeeze into tiny crevices and make dens in bottles, aluminum cans or mollusk shells.
- Blue-ringed octopus is known to burrow into sand or gravel to conceal itself. It feeds on small crabs, hermit crabs and shrimps.
- The octopus stores two types of poison in two separate glands. The poison from one gland is used to hunt its main prey i.e., crab and the poison from the other gland serves as defense against predators.
- The female octopus lays eggs towards the end of autumn, in several unattached clumps that she carries in her arms for approximately six months, until they hatch. During this period, she does not eat and when the eggs hatch, the female dies.
- The blue-ringed octopus, like all other octopuses, has three hearts and blue blood.
- These species have eight tentacles, which are used to capture and mutilate their prey. If it loses one of its tentacles, another one grows in its place.
- There is no known antidote for treating the poison of a blue-ringed octopus.
- The blue-ringed octopus ventures out to hunt at night and takes rest during the daytime.
- Although these aquatic creatures have well-developed eyesight, these can only see objects in black and white.