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Blue ringed octopus

Hapalochlaena maculosa


Small octopus (This one is a baby) with bright purple patches advertising its extreme venom. It is hardly larger that a two dollar coin and displays bright purple rings when it feels threatened.


Rockpools and coastal waters around Australia. This was spotted under the San Remo bridge.


This very venomous octopus is responsible for only two deaths in Australia in 1954 (Darwin) and 1962 (Melbourne). It normally feeds on crabs and evenomates its prey by biting them.

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27 Comments (1–25)

MartinL 9 years ago

Thanks also vitthal and Daniel

MartinL 9 years ago

Thank you Uday, Andrés and Leuba.

DanielHernández 9 years ago

wow exelent photo!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 9 years ago

totally missed this one - what a great find. Wonderful Martin !

DinDjarin 9 years ago


Uday 9 years ago

glad to know that yor are planning to join mollusk survey :)

MartinL 9 years ago

Joined mollusca mission.
Thanks for your comments Shanna and Uday.
I plan to join in a mollusk survey this summer =)

ShannaB 9 years ago


Uday 9 years ago


Blogie 9 years ago

Hi Martin. I hope you'll submit this beautiful spotting to the Mollusca mission. Here's the link:

MartinL 9 years ago

Thank you Kat and Joshua. This creature curls its arm tips when angry (like fists for fighting). It also flashes blue rings when angry, so I had to annoy it a little for this photo.

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 9 years ago

wow that's soooo cooool! great yob man!

KatCuff 9 years ago

Very well done!

MartinL 9 years ago

Thanks blogie. You would notice that many marine species can flash colors as this one does.

Blogie 9 years ago

Wow!! What a spectacular series!

MartinL 9 years ago

I've updated the location data. I've actually not spotted this species before, even in the water=) so its quite exciting. I believe they are common. Thanks for checking my bad record keeping Argybee.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

Fantastic find martin. You've been holding back. I haven't seen these since I was a kid. Always thought they were extinct by now in South Croydon :)
Seriously well done.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 9 years ago

Congratulations, Martin, and please, be careful with those critters (I know you know how to do it, but...there isn't such thing as excessive caution...))

MartinL 9 years ago

Thanks for you comments. This was certainly an exciting find

Gerardo Aizpuru
Gerardo Aizpuru 9 years ago

Wow grate find

KarenL 9 years ago

Wow, a little critter definitely not to be messed with!

MartinL 9 years ago

I have placed the octopus into a small white dish in order to get a clear shot. The last pic shows the octopus as i found it in a small rock pool. Then I released it again.

Nicholas4 9 years ago

Wow! A James Bond flick cast member!! Get an autograph in "ink"...
very nice.

alicelongmartin 9 years ago

And how did you arrange him to take the photos? The light background is good for getting a good look.

MartinL 9 years ago

I think people are bitten when they mistakenly handle them. They are usually about 10 cm wide including legs. This baby one is about 2.5 cm

Spotted by

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Jan 16, 2012
Submitted on Jan 16, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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