Wondering what would you eat if you were a Hapalochlaena lunulata?

Cephalopods are carnivores by nature (Encyclopedia of Life). The greater blue-ringed octopus are primarily found hunting during the day but are occasionally found feeding at night (Blue Ringed Octopus Facts). It feeds primarily on crabs, mollusks, fish, and other tiny marine organisms (Animal Diversity Web). The greater blue-ringed octopus is about 20 cm in length, but appears much smaller to the human eye (Encyclopedia of Life). They hunt anything they are able to overpower due to their small size. Hapalochlaena lunulata mainly lure their prey by wriggling their arm like a worm, and it also may swim by its prey, and pounce on it with a surprise attack (Animal Diversity Web). The H. lunulata either will crack open its prey with it hard beak or it will break the prey's body apart into pieces, and then with their muscular arms it will remove any of the nutrient parts (Animal Diversity Web). This species of octopus mainly uses their skilled muscular tentacles, and their venomous poison to hunt their prey.

The Hapalochlaena lunulata is the most deadly octopus species in its class. Their venom is so deadly, that one single octopus contains enough venom to kill about 26 adult humans within minutes (MarineBio). But luckily they rarely encounter humans, so the death rate is low. It is recommended not to handle or touch this species of octopus because its so deadly, and there is no known antidote (Blue Ringed Octopus Facts). So if you are a diver or snorkeler, I suggest you admire the species from afar. This octopus species contains two types of venom that are secreted from two different venom glands (MarineBio). One of the venoms is used to hunt small organisms. The second venom, Tetrodotoxin, is extremely toxic and is used for protection from predators (Blue Ringed Octopus Facts). The venom is secreted from their salvia gland after piercing a hole in the prey's shell or exoskeleton with their hard beak (MarineBio). Once the prey is paralyzed, they use their hard beak to tear off and eat the fleshy soft parts of the animal. An enzyme in its venomous salvia  partially digests the prey's flesh which allows the octopus to suck out the remain, and leaves the shell behind (Aquarium of the Pacific). The mechanism for poisoning their victim is still under scientific research (MarineBio). Also, there have been scientific reports that are still under investigation that suggest that the species may also have the ability to spray venom in the surrounding water of its victim to paralyze it without having to use its beak (Aquarium of the Pacific).

To learn about the reproduction of this species, go to the next page.