December 1. Philippine Marine Biodiversity - Definitive
Amstar Company, Inc. Perf. 13.5
of 50 (5 x 10)
100p Blue-ringed Octopus - Singles (265,000)
Design Coordinators: Victorino Z. Serevo; Elenita D.L.
Source: Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific by Dr. Terence
First Day Covers: Manila
Octopus (Hapalochlaena maculosa)
With its fascinating coloring and delicate
curling arms, the blue-ringed octopus may be a beautiful creature,
but this small cephalopod is also deadly. When agitated its 50 or 60
bright blue rings appear and pulsate with color, as a warning.
Inside the salivary glands of the blue-ringed octopus live colonies
of bacteria that produce tetrodotoxin, the potent neurotoxin found
in pufferfish and other animals. A can completely paralyze and kill
an adult human in a matter of minutes. There is no known antidote.
The octopus itself is not affected at all by the toxin.
The blue-ringed octopus
is commonly found in shallow, sandy areas. It is most active after
dark, and spends most of its day hidden in its nest. Like all
octopods, the blue-ringed octopus has no skeleton and is thus very
flexible and maneuverable. It can squeeze into tiny crevices and
make dens in bottles, aluminum cans, or mollusk shells. The
blue-ringed octopus is also known to burrow into sand or gravel to
The blue-ringed octopus feeds primarily on crabs and mollusks,
ambushing from behind and enveloping prey with its eight arms. Using
its bird-like beak, the octopus bites a hole through its victimís
shell to inject toxic saliva. With its arms and beak, the creature
tears soft pieces from the prey, sucking the rest of the meat from
the shell once it becomes partially digested by the saliva.
Packets of sperm rest in
the grooved tip of the maleís modified third arm, called a
hectocotylus. When mating, the male slips this grooved tip under the
mantle and into the oviduct of the female through a gill slit, and
transfers multiple sperm packets, or spermatophores. The female lays
her eggs in several unattached clumps, which she carries in her arms
until they hatch. After the young emerge from their eggs, the mother