|Biological Diversity 2003||Spring 2003|
*A beutiful blue-ringed octopus just before he bit and killed the photogropher. Just kinding, no photographers were injured in the makeing of this picture. Found at australiancepholopods.com.
Species: Hapalochlaena maculosa, and Hapalochlaena lunulata
Mating begins when an interested male approaches and starts caressing the female with his modified arm, the hectocotylus. He then inserts the hectocotylus under the mantle of the female and the spermatophores are then released into the female's oviduct. The female then lays ~100 eggs and guards them until they hatch ~50 days later. The mother dies soon after the eggs hatch because she during the guarding of the eggs she is unable to eat.
*Bow-ckiki-bow-bow!!! Look at these two lovely boogers gettin it on! Unfortunetly, they will die within the next few months. Found at is.dal.ca.
What to do if you get bit!
The bite of the blue-ringed octopus may be painless but it is definetly deadly. Its venom contains some maculotoxin which is more violent than any animals found on land. This poisen is 10,000 times more potent that cyanide. Upon being bitten, the victom's nerve conduction is stopped and paralysis sets in after a few minutes. Paralysis is then followed by death. Some symtoms are as follows:
If you do see someone get bit you should immediatly call 911, and then apply compresion to the wound as if it was a snake bite. Artificial respiration should also be started as soon as possible. The only way to survive is hours of heart massage and artificial respiration until the poisin has worked its way out of the system. There is no anit-venom to date.
*Its a bird, its a plane, its an alien, nope....its a blue-ringed octopus. Again, getting ready to bite. Found at barrierreefaustralia.com.
Physical Characteristics: The Blue-Ringed Octopus (BRO) is a very small organism, belonging to the family of Octopodidae. Like all octopi, they are soft-bodied organisms with eight arms or tentacles. It grows to a maximum length of 200mm when totally spread, and most are shorter than this. The octopus has a mass of 10-100g and is about the size of a golf ball. The BRO is normally dark brown to dark yellow in color but changes to a vivid yellow with bright blue rings when agitated (Blue Zoo, 200.
Habitat and Distribution: The BRO can be found in shallow reefs and tide pools from Japan to Australia, and can be found at depths ranging from 0 to 20 m (Caldwell, 2000).
Food and Feeding: The octopus has two poison glands that secrete tow types of poison into the saliva. One type of poison secreted is primarily effective against crabs, its primary food source, and the other is very toxic and is used against predators for defensive purposes. It is not yet known whether the octopus simply secretes saliva near prey, and waits for it to become incapacitated, or if it actually bites its prey. Once the prey is dead, the octopus begins consuming it with its powerful beak-like mouth (McConnell, 2000).
Development and Lifespan: The BRO hatches from eggs (one of 60-100 according to the authors of the following website: http://is.dal.ca/~ceph/TCP/lunulata.html ) and is about the size of a pea at the start of its life. The octopus will quickly grow and mature until it reaches the average adult size, about equivalent to the size of a golf ball. The life expectancy of a Blue-ringed octopus is about 2 years (Caldwell, 2000; McConnell, 2000).
Behavior: according to a University of Michigan website
the blue-ringed octopus exhibits the typical octopus behavior in that
is tends to live in crevices or holes, burrows as a way of gaining protection,
and advertises its toxicity by changing to iridescent colors when aggravated.
The octopus can commonly be found in shallow tide pools after storm,
searching for crabs and bivalves.
The most threatening factors concerning the blue-ringed octopus are those that are posed by humans. One problem that humans cause for the BRO is that since they have a reputation for being very venomous, humans have been known to kill them out of fear. Another threat that people pose to the octopus is that because of its strong venom, members of Australia’s world-leading venom industry harvest it.
Toxicologists fear that those harvesting the BRO for venom
are not fully aware of how deadly the octopus is. An increase in human
casualties due to BRO bites could really hurt its public image and cause
more killing of the species.
The following organizations are interested in conserving the BRO’s habitat by protecting Australia’s reef systems:
Great Barrier Marine Park Authority, http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/
Australian Marine Conservation Society, http://www.amcs.org.au/issues/gbr/gbrmain.htm.
Australian Institute for Marine Science, http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/research/smgbr/smgbr12.html
BARRIERREEFAUSTRALIA. 2003 February 25. BarrierReefAustralia: Dangers on the reef. <http://www.barrierreefaustralia.com/the-great-barrier-reef/blueringedoctopus.htm> . Accessed 2003 March 30.
Brouwer, W., Hochgrebe, T. 2003 March 29. Planula Dive Photo Gallery. <http://www.planula.com.au/dive/uwphoto2002/large/blueringed.html>. Accessed 2003 March 30.
Cephalopod Research. 2002 August 19. The Blue Ringed Octopus. <http://www.australiancephalopods.com/occy_blue_ring.html>. Accesed 2003 March 30.
Cephbase. 2003 March 25. Cephbase: Hapalochlaena maculosa. <http://www.cephbase.dal.ca/spdb/speciesc.cfm?CephID=618>. Accessed 2003 March 30.
Dalhousie University. 2003 February 27. Hapalochlaena lunulata. <http://is.dal.ca/%7Eceph/TCP/lunulata.html>. Accessed 2003 March 30.
Dr. Caldwell, R. 2000 April 1. Death in a Pretty Package: The Blue-Ringed Octopus. <http://www.dal.ca/~ceph/TCP/bluering1.html>. Accessed 2003 March 27.
Interesting animals, The World's most poisonous octopus is the size of a golf ball. <http://www.didyouknow.cd/animals/octopus.htm>. Accessed 2003 April 1.
McConnell, A. 2000 May. Hapalochlaena. <http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/hapalochlaena/h._maculosa$narrative.html#conservation>. Accessed 2003 March 30.
Melbourne Aquarium. 2000 April 1. Blue Zoo Aquarium Education. <http://www.melbourneaquarium.com.au/education/ffbluering.htm>. Accessed 2003 March 27.
Ray, K. 2000 May. Hapalochlaena lunulata, Greater Blue-Ringed Octopus. <http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/hapalochlaena/h._lunulata$narrative.html>. Accessed 2003 March 30.
Roper, C.F.E. and F.G. Hochberg,. 1999 February 23. Hapalochlaena lunulata. <http://is.dal.ca/~ceph/TCP/lunulata.html>. Accessed 2003 April 1.
Sheedy, Sam Beasley
*This little lady put on her pink dress for a night on the prowl. Not really, sometimes the blue-ringed octopus displays a pink pattern as opposed to the typical yellowish pattern. Found at planula.com.au.
Croix Ground Lizard
This website is part of a Biology 226 class project on the conservation of global biodiversity.