7 Facts About The Blue Ringed Octopus

1.) They are found in the Pacific and Indian oceans from Japan to Australia.

2.) There are at least 10 species of blue ringed-octopuses with the Southern Blue Ringed-Octopus being the most common.

3.) They have yellow skin with blue rings that are outlined in black. When they feel threatened their colors change.

Rickard Zerpe, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you happen to come across this species and you see this, leave it alone and do not touch it. This species is among some of the deadliest in the world! It’s venom is 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide. Each individual octopus carries enough venom to kill 26 humans within minutes and it’s not a great way to go either.

4.) It’s bite is usually painless so you might not realize that you have been bitten until it is too late. Once bitten, the venom blocks nerve signals throughout the body which causes muscle paralysis – including the muscles needed to breathe. This leads to respiratory arrest. Unless artificial respiration is started immediately, the chances of survival are not likely. If a victim survives the first 24 hours, they will make a full recovery.

Luckily the Blue Ringed-Octopus is not an aggressive species and is only likely to bite if it is cornered or feels threatened in any way. In fact, there have been no known deaths from its bite since the 1960s. So as long as you do not handle it or touch it and keep a good distance from it – you will be safe.

5.) The Blue Ringed-Octopus feeds primarily on small crustaceans, including shrimps and crabs. It’s a foraging type of predator and you can usually find them in tidal pools and shallow reefs with lots of rock structures for it to hide in.

6.) In order to catch its prey, it uses 1 of 2 methods: 1.) it bites it’s prey and injects it’s venom directly into the wound or 2.) it can release a cloud of venom into the water which can enter a potential prey’s gills.

7.) This species reproduces only once in its lifetime. Once the female lays her eggs, she guards them until they hatch – which can sometimes take a few months. During this time period, she will not leave her eggs unattended for any reason. While guarding her eggs she usually becomes weak from not foraging for food and usually passes away shortly after her eggs hatch. It’s approximate lifespan is 2 years.

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