Blue-ringed Octopus Size report

The blue-ringed octopus, also known as the leopard octopus, is widely distributed in the Pacific Ocean between Japan and Australia. It is a small octopus with an arm span of no more than 15 cm. The vibrant and dazzling blue-ringed octopuses aren't just for show.

In the ocean, the blue-ringed octopus is one of the most poisonous creatures, and their poison can kill people. But this octopus will not actively attack humans unless they are seriously threatened. The blue-ringed octopus preys mainly on small fish, crabs, shrimps, and crustaceans and paralyzes its prey with a strong toxin (tetrodotoxin).

There may be around ten different species of blue-ringed octopus, though only four have been given scientific names, including the greater blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata) and the Southern blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena maculosa). The main difference between them is their habitat. The following post generally introduces some facts about blue-ringed octopus.

Blue-ringed Octopus Size and Appearance

The blue-ringed octopus' body surface is yellowish brown, so it is easy to hide in the sandy rocks. They usually live by the shallow sea and are named for the bright blue rings on their bodies. The dark rings on the body and claws will emit dazzling blue light to warn their enemy when they are in danger. This octopus may be small but secretes enough venom to kill a human in a single bite. With no antidote yet, the blue-ringed octopus is one of the most deadly sea creatures. Its sharp beak can even pierce a diver's wetsuit. The blue-ringed octopus flashes its 50-60 rings within a third of a second as a warning display to predators. As one of the world's most venomous marine animals, its poison causes total body paralysis, also to humans.

Average Size of Blue-ringed Octopus

The blue-ringed octopus is a very small species of octopus, its body is only the size of a golf ball. The blue-ringed octopus has an overall length between 15-20 cm, a mantle length of 3-5 cm, and a weight of 0.1 kg. The typical lifespan of the blue-ringed octopus is between 2-3 years. Don't let the beauty or size of the blue-ringed octopus fool you; it is extremely venomous.

Quick Facts
Average Length
15-20 cm
Mantle Length
3-5 cm
Average Weight
0.1 kg
Lifespan2-3 years

Other Facts

The blue-ringed octopus is shy and likes to hide under rocks, only coming out at night to forage. The toxicity of the blue-ringed octopus can be shown by its own color. Its skin contains color cells, which can change the size of different color cells by shrinking or stretching, and the entire appearance of the blue-ringed octopus will change. So when the blue-ringed octopus moves in different environments, it can use the same protective color as the environment color.

The blue-ringed octopus is dioecious. During the breeding season, female octopuses lay eggs under rocks or in holes, about 0.3 cm long, and the total number is more than 100,000. It takes 4 to 8 weeks for a female octopus to hatch after laying eggs once. Juvenile octopuses resemble adults but are small. After hatching, they need to drift with plankton for several weeks before sinking to the bottom of the water to hide.

Final Words

The blue-ringed octopus is one of the most poisonous animals known. Despite its relatively small size, a single blue-ringed octopus carries enough neurotoxin to kill more than adults at once in a matter of minutes. The TTX venom from the octopus can prevent the blood from clotting, causing the wound to bleed profusely and feel stinging. Finally, the victim has a fever, and it is hard to breathe. However, blue-ringed octopuses will not attack humans unless they are seriously threatened. Most attacks on humans occur when blue-ringed octopuses are lifted out of the water or stepped on.


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