Stomatopod Images

Stomatopod succumbs to Blue-ring Octopus.
Photograph by Dr. Roy Caldwell

Blue Death: Stomatopod succumbs to Blue-ring Octopus

Fights between octopuses and smasher stomatopods can go either way. In this case, a blue-ring octopus engulfs a stomatopod in its deadly embrace, using its very potent TTX poison to subdue the mantis shrimp.

In the open, a large smasher will have an advantage over a similar or larger octopus, but in a confined situation, an octopus will most likely subdue a mantis shrimp. There are exceptions to this rule though. As Dr Caldwell noted:

When I got my first blue-ring, I paid way too much for it and was trying to get all of the neat photos that I could. I decided that a picture of it capturing and eating a stomatopod would be nice. I posed the octopus and released into the tank a mantis shrimp that I thought would make a nice meal. The mantis shrimp looked at the octopus and launched a preemptive strike, stabbing the blue-ring right between the eyes killing it instantly.

There are also stomatopods that regularly prey on blue-rings. They may avoid the effects of the TTX by pulverizing the prey octopus with repeated blows, dispersing the toxin before dining on its meal. Click here for more info in the Stomatopod logs section.

Web Site Author: A. Sunjian
Site Created February 3, 1998
Site Dedication

Introduction | Biology | Taxonomy | References | Researchers | Care & Rearing | Pest Control | Stomatopod Logs | Stomatopod Pics | Stomatopods in Film | Stomatopods in Fiction | External Links