Scuba Diving Feature of the Month – Blue Ringed Octopus
Scuba diving in Sabah, Borneo has to be on the wish list of every scuba diver. The coral reefs around Sabah form part of the Coral Triangle and are recognised as some of the most important marine sites in the World.
What surprises many divers visiting Kota Kinabalu, Sabah is the diversity of marine life you can find just in front of the capital city. Borneo Dream visits > 20 different dive sites in nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Across these dive sites we often come across a fascinating marine life find! This feature tells you more about the Blue Ringed Octopus which can be found when scuba diving off Pulau Sapi in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park near Kota Kinabalu. All images are courtesy of © G Woolley/scubazooimages.com.
The Blue Ringed Octopus get there name from the distinctive blue rings that only become visible when the octopus is startled. This tiny Octopus is reported to be the most poisonous of all cephalopods. This small octopus has a body size of less than 5cm and arms around 7cm.
The Blue Ringed Octopus eats small crabs and shrimps. They use one of their two poisons to the kill their prey although the exact method they use to do this is still not known. The Blue-ringed octopus has a second poison that is much more toxic and is used as a self defence mechanism against predators.
The life expectancy of a Blue-Ringed Octopus is only about two years with both the male and the female dying after copulation. During copulation the male climbs onto the female’s back and inserts his hectocotylus, or modified arm, under the female’s mantle where he releases spermatophores into her oviduct. At this point the male octopus dies. The female octopus lays up to 100 eggs which she protects under her tentacles. These eggs hatch around 50 days later and are about the size of a pea. The female octopus is unable to eat while she is protecting her eggs and so dies soon after the eggs hatch. The young octopuses quickly grow into adults and begin mating the following year. And so the cycle continues.
If you’re interested in coming scuba diving in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kota Kinabalu during your holiday in Sabah please contact the Borneo Dream team. Who knows what you’ll find when scuba diving with us!