Sunday, June 07, 2009

Blue Ringed Octopus

Blue Ringed Octopus, I have read, can be found as far south as the Town of Bermagui on the NSW coast.....

Yesterday was family day down by the river.
Everyone was interested to see the soldier crabs marching in their thousands, so down we went.
Harry, a local lad and friend of my son Marvin, was along for the day.
As we were walking along harry said "There's a Blue Ringed Octopus!"

Please keep in mind that he had never seen one before...except in books.
A spectacular find indeed, especially considering we were nearly 1Km from the ocean on a river tidal flat in an area as far south as these creatures have been reported.

With tentacles folded underneath, it was looking like a brownish rock with a few little bright flecks...something, no doubt, that would impel small fish to have a closer look.

Once disturbed, carefully, it began to display its full " leave me alone or else" colouration.
Vivid neon blue rings embedded in a golden body.

It was not an aggressive creature and, once it had a good study of us, was happily on its way.
This last shot showing the shape of the creature under locomotion.

Blue ringed Octopus have a "Beak" under all those legs not unlike that of a parrot.
They can deliver a toxin that shuts down breathing for a time ( not a healthy thing to happen)
and so should be left alone.
Once an octopus has hold of you, even a small one such as this, you may find it hard to put down due to the suckers having such good grip over a wide variety of surface textures.
They are intelligent and inquisitive creatures who can change shape readily.
One that I heard of, on display to the public, was given "toys" to keep it amused and had the habit of pulling the plug on its aquarium.


  1. Well, aren't you glad you had your camera with you even near that sand and salt air?
    Great find by Harry and nice images. I have only ever seen one dimly, through about a foot of water, from the Board-Walk at Narooma.
    Your shots are great, showing the different shape it adopts in different conditions.
    Well done.

  2. Hi Denis,

    I too have only seen one before, with most of its body wedged amongst rocks.
    Considering its unusual position I took full advantage with a number of shots.
    With the advances in cameras each and every year, I just bite the bullet now and put my gear through harsh environmental paces.The shot that eventually takes my camera out had better be focused!
    Do you reckon someone out there would give me a camera to field test?
    Nikon? Canon? Sony?...Im only an email away :)



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