Blue-Ringed Octopus

Blue-Ringed Octopus, Mabul Island, Malaysia
Blue-Ringed Octopus, Mabul Island, Malaysia. Image credit: Angell Williams cc2.0

Blue-Ringed Octopus…

Blue-Ringed Octopus, Mabul Island, Malaysia
Blue-Ringed Octopus, Mabul Island, Malaysia. Image credit: Angell Williams cc2.0

These are a small organisms that measure up to 7.9 inches (20 centimeters) when fully spread out. They have soft bodies with eight tentacles and can easily fit in to the palm of your hand. Their skin color ranges from dark brown to yellow. The bright blue rings only appear when they feel threatened, which is also when the skin colour changes to a bright yellow. If they lose one of their tentacles, it will grow back within 6 weeks. This tiny creature is the only octopus known to be deadly to us; its venom has no cure and can kill a human within minutes.

The blue-ringed octopus produces two types of venom; one for protection and the other for hunting. The one for protection is actually produced by bacteria that live in its salivary glands.

Blue Ringed Octopus, Sai Kung, Hong Kong
Image credit: Eugene Lim cc2.0

Their diet consists of small crustaceans like shrimp and crab. The octopus bites the prey with its beak and releases its other toxin, the one for hunting, into the prey. It will wait until the prey is paralyzed, and then rip away the crustacean’s shell with its beak and suck the flesh out of the exoskeleton.

Blue-ringed Octopus
Image credit: Steve Childs cc2.0

These animals have a short life span of only about 2 years. During the reproductive process, both the male and the female die. The male dies soon after mating. The female lays the eggs and incubates them under her arms for 6 months. During this time, the female doesn’t feed at all, and once the eggs hatch, she dies of starvation.

Blue-Ringed Octopus are also mentioned in:
15 Interesting Facts about the Octopus !
Top 10 Venomous Animals You Never Knew Were Venomous!

To learn more about Octopuses, visit:

The YouTube video below is a collection of videos about the blue-ringed octopus. The list of videos featured is underneath.

The Playlist:

    1. Blue Ring Octopus by jpatersonphotography – This video footage of a blue-ringed octopus is from jpatersonphotography taken after Jamie noticed one of the most venomous creatures in the world trying to get to his foot!
    2. Blue Ringed Octopus by Frank Lame – This wonderfully clear footage is from Frank Lame. You can actually see the blue rings flashing as the little octopus tries to warn him off.
    3. Blue-ringed Octopus Camouflage – This really shows off the camouflaging skills of the octopus, as well as the speed it can move through the water when it wants to. The footage is from SensationDiveVideos.
    4. Blue-Ringed Octopus Catches Crab from – Some more great footage of this tiny but deadly octopus as it catches a crab. The video really shows off the vivid rings of the octopus.

To see more octopus videos visit our ‘Amazing Octopus – Alien of the Deep‘ page. Where amongst other things you’ll find an octopus squeezing into a beer bottle and a giant Pacific octopus attacking a spiny dogfish shark!

We also have a page dedicated to the ‘Dumbo octopus‘  the deep-sea octopus with fins that look like ears. You can also find the Dumbo octopus in our book ‘The 25 Weirdest Animals in the World!’.


  1. I want to watch the video!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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