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Eastern Indigo snake

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Eastern Indigo snake
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Scientific Classification
Trinomial

Drymarchon corais couperi

The Eastern Indigo snake lives in Florida, the Florida-keys, and Georgia. Eastern Indigo snakes are the largest snakes in North America and can grow up to 9 feet in length. They have been threatened with extinction on account of their beautiful skin, which is used for purses, wallets, boots, and more. They are now a protected species in Florida. The Eastern Indigos are immune to all the poisonous snakes in North America, which they often eat. Indigos are very gentle animals and have no venom, so a bite may be painful but not deadly. They are often confused with the similar snake called the black racer and/or the black pine snake. [1]

Anatomy

eastern indigo in a cage.

The eastern indigo is a glossy blue-black color but can be a lustrous black .It is a solid color but sometimes it may have occasional orange, pink white, white, or reddish area under the chin and the color goes up to the throat and cheeks. Its scales are large and smooth. They also have a heavy-body. [2]

Reproduction

There is limited information on the reproductive habits of the eastern indigos. The eastern indigo breeding begins in the fall and into dead of winter or from November to April. Instead of before or after like many snakes. It will be over 200 days from breeding to hatching. [3]

In North Florida, breeding occurs November - April. Wild eastern indigo females lay clutches of 4 - 12 eggs in May or June, while captive female indigos have an average clutch size of 9 -20. Hatching takes place after approximately 3 months, with peaks occurring August - September. In south-central Florida, breeding occurs June - January, with egg laying taking place April - July. Hatching generally occurs from mid-summer through early fall. Females can apparently store sperm and delay fertilization of eggs. [4]

Ecology

eastern indigo showing

Indigos have a wide range of habitats during the year. They are all some how associated with the with gopher tortoises and the sandy ridges they inhabit. Indigos often share the gopher’s den during hot or/and cold weather. Indigos are active during the day during much of the year and prey on small mammals, lizards. Birds, frogs, toads, and other snakes. [5]

The eastern indigos are very smooth and docile. They are genital by nature and are very sweet. When you pick them up you need to be really careful because they aren’t used to strangers picking them up so quickly, so be careful.

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