Deadly blue-ringed octopus found in Tasmanian rock pool

A deadly blue-ringed octopus has been spotted lounging around in rock pools on Tasmania’s north-west coast.

The discovery was made by students from Devonport Primary School at Don Heads near Devonport over the weekend, a common location for encountering the venomous sea creatures.

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The octopus ranks among the world’s most venomous marine animals and its bite can lead to complete paralysis and even death if left untreated.

Experts believe the species is becoming more common in Tasmanian waters due to rising sea temperatures.

They say signings of¬†the venomous creatures are ‘uncommon but not unexpected’ and they won’t cause any harm if they’re left alone.

A blue-ringed octopus spotted at Hawley Beach in the state’s north in 2020. Image / Supplied

“They tend to hide in crevices or under rocks during the day and emerge at night,” the¬†Australian Institute of Marine Science says on its website.

“The [species] is named for the iridescent blue markings that dot their bodies, however these are usually only seen when the octopus feels threatened and is about to attack.”

If bitten, the medical advice is similar to that recommended for snake bite: Stay very still and compress the wound tightly.

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If someone is bitten

  • Calm the patient and keep them still
  • Apply a crepe bandage over the bite
  • Firmly apply a heavy crepe pressure bandage, starting at the fingers/toes and working up as far as possible
  • Immobilise the bandaged limb using splints
  • Ensure an ambulance has been called

Source: St John Ambulance

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