Blue Ringed Octopus Habitat

Habitat and Distribution

The blue ringed octopus can be found on shallow reefs, in coral rock pools and in tidal pools ranging in depth from 0 - 20 m, from Australia to Japan .

The blue ringed octopus may be found:

  • along the coast of Australia and some Pacific Islands
  • in very small places including in shallow coral and rock pools, under rocks, in cracks and crevices on the reef, in tidal pools, inside shells, and in discarded bottles, cans and other detritus on the sea floor.
  • also in sandy or muddy stretches of the sea bottom where seaweed is plentiful.

The opening to the blue ringed octopus "den" is usually littered with rocks, shells and hollowed out crustacean shells placed there by the octopus to obscure the entrance.


The blue ringed octopus is classified as follows:

  • Kingdom : Animalia
  • Phylum : Mollusca
  • Class : Cephalopoda
  • Order : Octopoda
  • Family : Octopodidae
  • Genus : Hapalochlaena
  • Species : (various species)

There are two well-known species of blue ringed octopus:

Hapalochlaena lunulata - Greater Blue Ringed Octopus - slightly larger than the other one. Can grow up to 20 cm across and lives along the coastline of Northen Australia and tropical western Pacific Ocean including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island, Philipines and Indonesia.

Hapalochlaena maculosa - Southern Blue Ringed Octopus - slightly smaller than the previous one. Weighs up to about 30 grams and is found along the coastline of southern Western Australia to eastern Victoria.

Website created by Jenny Stevenson - June 2006.