View Full Version : Beautiful blue rings

22nd June 2018, 06:35 PM
I took a little dingy out fishing in Brisbane Water today. Reeling in, I saw a little blob of weed on the end of my line. I was about to pull it off when something told me to be careful. Well, actually, no mystery, it was the knowledge that every second critter around here is able to hurt you in some way.

Iím pretty much blind without my glasses, but on really close inspection I was able to see the beautiful blue rings.

The little blue ring octopus had grabbed a prawn bait, and maybe impaled itself. It wasnít easy to get it off without hurting it but fortunately I always carry long nose pliers.

After Iíd released it, I pushed the prawn back onto the hook. Shortly after, a tiny cut on my hand started hurting - made me wonder if maybe they spill out venom even without biting.

I donít know how common they are but Iíve never even seen one before.



22nd June 2018, 08:08 PM
They're not uncommon but are quite small and easily overlooked. I've seen a few in rock pools. They only glow blue when alarmed and it's their saliva that is venomous so you may have come into contact with some. A bite can kill an adult so use caution.
I wonder if the BRO bit the prawn and left some venom would a fish that ate the prawn be envenomed? And is the fish then safe to eat?

22nd June 2018, 10:03 PM
Thinking about it, the painful finger could have come from the flathead I caught immediately after. I didn’t get spined but I would have got mucous on my hands. I had forgotten about that.

I think that’s more likely. Wikipedia states that the BRO venom is 1200 times more toxic then cyanide, so I don’t think I came into contact with that.

30th March 2019, 01:15 PM
Depends on where you are, I used to find them quite readily in Port Phillip Bay (Vic.) when I used to go diving in my teens, they were frequently found in ally cans. First came across one when I was about 8 or 9 years old, it was swimming along the shoreline in Dromana (bottom of the bay) and I was about to catch it, but the flashing blue rings set off the alarm in my head, which is just as well I didn't. They are a pretty little critter!