A man was flown off Lady Musgrave Island after suffering a suspected blue ringed octopus bite.
A man was flown off Lady Musgrave Island after suffering a suspected blue ringed octopus bite. YouTube

Man hospitalised after suspect encounter with deadly animal

A MAN has been hospitalised after suffering a suspected blue ringed octopus sting at Lady Musgrave Island.

The RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service was tasked to the island yesterday afternoon after reports a 21-year-old man had been stung.

A spokesperson said the patient was initially treated on the island beach front by the Flight Crew Critical Care Paramedic and doctor.

Once stabilised for flight, the patient was flown to Rockhampton in a stable condition for further treatment.

The blue ringed octopus is highly venomous and a sting to a human can result in paralysis and possibly cardiac failure.

According to Barrier Reef Australia, the blue ringed octopus measures from 12cm to 20cm across its stretched tentacles.



A blue-ring octopus.
A blue ringed octopus.


When resting, the octopus will look dark brown and yellow but turns blue when provoked.

Barrier Reef Australia states "the body will darken and its 50 to 60 rings will glow an electric blue."

"This is when it is most likely to bite, using its two beak-like jaws to release a toxin from its salivary glands known as tetrodotoxin, also found in the flesh of the pufferfish."




The blue ringed octopus is a "reclusive creature, rarely seen in water deeper than 10ft".

It lives in shallow reef waters, at the bottom of coral rock pools, and under shells.

There is no known antidote for a blue ringed octopus sting.

Symptoms includes throbbing pain and sometimes numbness.

Bleeding from the bite may occur, as well as nausea, vomiting, change in vision, numbness of the lips, tongue and mouth, and difficulty swallowing, seeing, and speaking.

After about 10 minutes the victim may have difficulty breathing, becoming paralysed and requiring artificial ventilation.


06/05/02 108823 Michael McNamara from Maroochy Council displays the deadly Blue Ring Octopus found in the Maroochy River.
The blue ringed octopus turns blue when provoked.