Blue Ring Octopus in Gili Air
Despite looking small and harmless, the blue ring octopus carries a deadly venom (tetrodotoxin) that is able to kill 26 adult humans within minutes. Their bites are tiny and often painless, meaning that many victims do not realize they have been bitten until respiratory depression and paralysis start. Obviously, avoid handling this octopus!
This is one of the most aggressive species of octopus in the world and they aren’t as likely to run and hide as you might expect! Which is why you’ll be lucky enough to observe them if you just happen to come across a blue ring octopus in Gili Air – just like we did on a recent dive at Hans’ Reef! We managed to watch one eat a whole crab!
These small yet speedy predators hunt at night and have superb vision so they are able to find food – shrimp, fish and hermit crabs being a favourite – with no trouble at all! Blue ring octopus in Gili Air have a fair few predators to deal with themselves including, whales, eels and birds. But if the octopus can get in a quick bite, the predator becomes the prey!
Due to being so aggressive they are very isolated. However, when it comes to the time for mating they do change that tune! The males and females will stay in the same area for a couple of days so that mating can occur as many times as possible – randy! When the females are ready to be left alone, there maybe fierce battles as the males can be quite persistent and they don’t like that! After the mating process, the females will have developed approximately 50 eggs and they will fertilize them with the sperm they gathered. She will then securely place the eggs under her arms and the suctioning power will keep them secure until they are ready to hatch.
The blue-ringed octopus have a very short life span. Soon after mating the males will die, whereas the females, once she has finished hatching and caring for the eggs she will be close to death. The average life span for this Octopus is 1 ½ year.
Our dive centre felt quiet this week following the departure of our PADI Divemaster trainees who all successfully completed their courses! There was always a lot of laughter and joking around while Patric, Marcus and Mel were here and while the classroom may be a little tidier now, we sure miss them! We’ll enjoy keeping up with them as they continue their travels: Patric is continuing his trip around the world on his motorbike, Mel has headed off to Komodo (and made us jealous with her photos and videos) and is now heading back to the UK and Marcus returned to Amed, where he started his Divemaster journey, before returning to Sweden.
We sent instructor Komang to help out with some courses at our dive centre in South Lombok for a couple of days and he will join us back on Gili Air soon to start teaching Veronica’s Advanced Open Water Course. Did you know that our South Lombok Resort is just a short boat and car ride away? Combining diving in Gili Air with diving in South Lombok couldn’t be easier!
We also welcomed Stuart and Nina this week. Nina had done some BSAC training many years ago and as the qualification is not held in an online system and there were long gaps between her diving experiences, she has signed up to complete the PADI Open Water Diver training with instructor Jenny! So far it has been a lot of fun, with Nina excelling at the skills in the pool and in the ocean! While Nina works on developing her dive skills, Stuart has been fun diving with guide Jen and working on his photography skills! Stay tuned for some photos from Stuart on our Facebook page.
Until next week, happy bubbles from Two Fish Divers Gili Air Resort
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