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Blue-ringed Octopuses: A Brief Review of Their Toxicology

Jacups, Susan P. and Currie, Bart J. (2008). Blue-ringed Octopuses: A Brief Review of Their Toxicology. Northern Territory Naturalist,20:50-57.

Document type: Journal Article

Title Blue-ringed Octopuses: A Brief Review of Their Toxicology
Author Jacups, Susan P.
Currie, Bart J.
Journal Name Northern Territory Naturalist
Publication Date 2008
Volume Number 20
ISSN 0155-4093   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 50
End Page 57
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Northern Territory Field Naturalist Club
Field of Research 0599 - Other Environmental Sciences
0608 - Zoology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Blue-ringed octopuses Hapalochlaena (Cephalopoda: Octopoda: Octopodidae) live in shallow waters on rocky reefs in the intertidal and subtidal zones along the Australian coast. Their toxic saliva (venom) is used to subdue their prey of principally small crabs. The predominant toxin found in the saliva is tetrodotoxin (TTX), a sodium channel blocking neurotoxin, which causes dose-dependent muscle paralysis. The somewhat elusive Northern Australian Greater Blue-ringed Octopus Hapalochlaena sp. is attributed to the first documented human fatality (at East Point, Dawin, in 1954) from a blue-ringed octopus; however the octopus was not correctly identified until 1964. This paper clarifies the first documented fatality from a blue-ringed octopus envenoming and briefly reviews the literature on the natural history and toxicology of blue-ringed octopuses, focusing on the Northern Australian Greater Blue-ringed Octopus, the only species of Hapalochlaena in the Northern Territory.
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Created: Thu, 07 May 2009, 15:00:26 CST by Sarena Wegener