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Harold Mitchell, R4 Fish & Wildlife Biologist with Eastern indigo snake, Inky
  Close-up of Eastern indigo snake
Credit: FWS
  Credit: James C. Godwin


Eastern Indigo Snake



The most notable feature of the nonvenomous eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) is the glossy and iridescent blue-black coloration of the head and body. The eastern indigo snake is the longest snake in North America and males can reach a size of 8.5 ft and a weight of 11 lbs. Snakes may be blue-black over the entire body or may have red, reddish-orange or cream coloration on the chin, throat or cheeks.

The black racer (Coluber constrictor) is the only other solid black snake resembling the eastern indigo snake. However, black racers have a white or cream chin, tend to be a dull black, have a thin body and will bite if handled. Like the indigo, body scales of the racer are smooth..

Eastern indigo snakes occur in a variety of habitats throughout Florida. Snakes will often seek shelter inside gopher tortoise and other animal burrows, stumps, roots and debris piles. During the warmer months snakes move to nearby wetlands. Females lay from 4 - 12 eggs as early as April through June, with young hatching in late July through October.

Eastern indigo snakes are classified as a Threatened species by both the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.


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Last updated: April 17, 2018