Eastern Indigo Snake

ANIMAL:
Eastern Indigo Snake     Drymarchon couperi

Type of Animal:
Colubrid

Habitat:
Sandhills (especially pine-oak), flatwoods, high pines, prairies, hammocks, freshwater marshes & edges, agricultural areas, coastal dunes, human-altered habitats, pine rocklands, wetlands, scrub, abandoned citrus groves, seasonal/permanent ponds, pastureland, mangrove swamps, pine forest (open/closed), burrows, dry glades, stream bottoms, riparian thickets, xeric sandridges, creek bottoms, cane fields, vegetated rocky canal banks, coastal plains, pinelands, scrub forest, savanna, grasslands, coastal areas, brushy riparian/canal corridors, wet fields

Location(s):
Extreme S South Carolina, S Georgia, S Alabama, extreme SE Mississippi, & Florida

Appearance:
Shiny blue-black dorsal & lateral scales, some animals have reddish-orange to tan on throat/cheeks/chin, one of longest snakes in N America, juveniles have more red on head

Food/Diet:
Other snakes (including venomous species & smaller members of own species), turtles, lizards, amphibians, eggs, birds, rodents, young alligators, young gopher tortoises, young of large turtles, rabbits, hares, weasels, fish, shrews, moles, invertebrates, bats

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture along w/ captive programs reintroducing them to areas where population might be locally threatened. Only allowed to be owned w/ special permit.

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young-Hatchling
Group-Solitary

Weight:
Male-11 lbs
Female-6.5 lbs
Young-1.5 lbs

Gestation:
3-4 months 

Life Span:
17-21 years

Body Length:
Male-8.5 ft
Female-6.5 ft
Young-2 ft

Tail Length:
2 ft

Main predators of adults are crocodilians, snapping turtles, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, raptors, bears, dogs, cats, larger snakes (including members of own species), & otters. Many snakes, pigs, crows, raccoons, skunks, & weasels prey on young.

Uses gopher tortoise burrows, along w/ other kinds of burrows for shelter during winter & for nesting/refuge during warmer months.

Breeds in winter.

Kills prey by beating it against nearby objects.

Rattlesnake hunters sometimes inadvertently kill these snakes as they gas tortoise burrows to drive out rattlesnakes. These snakes should be valued since they eat rattlesnakes.

Females lay relatively small clutches of 4-12 eggs in May & June.

Fun Fact(s):
Reptile collectors prize these snakes due to color, size, & for being nonvenomous.

1st part of scientific name translates to “lord of the forest.”

Also called blue indigo snake, black snake, blue gopher snake, & blue bull snake.

They flatten heads, hiss, & vibrate tails, producing rattling sound when cornered.

These nonvenomous snakes mostly immune to snake venom.

These snakes are often fairly docile.

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