Eastern Indigo Snake

Scientific Name
Drymarchon couperi
Also Known As
Blue Indigo Snake
Most of Florida
Small Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Insects
Life Expectancy
Over 15 Years
The Eastern Indigo Snake

Photo 220175774 © John Serrao, CC BY-NC

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake conservation status - Vulnerable

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This Snake is Not Venomous


Eastern Indigo Snakes in Central Florida

The eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) is a large, nonvenomous colubrid snake found in the southeastern United States, with a significant population in central Florida. As opportunistic apex predators, eastern indigo snakes play an important role in these ecosystems.

This guide provides identification tips, biology facts, and conservation efforts for the eastern indigo snake in central Florida.

Appearance and Identification

Eastern indigo snakes can be identified by their glossy, blue-black coloration and large size

Adult Eastern Indigo Snakes

  • Size: Adult indigo snakes average 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 m) long. The record length is over 8 feet.
  • Coloration: Adults have uniformly glossy, blackish-blue scales over most of the body with no visible speckling. The chin and throat scales are reddish-orange.
  • Body: Stout, muscular build. The neck is not distinctly thicker compared to the rest of the body.
  • Head: Large broad head with a blunt rostral scale on the snout tip. Prominent eyes have round pupils.

Juvenile Eastern Indigo Snakes

  • Size: Hatchlings are 12-14 inches (30-36 cm) long. They reach 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 m) in their first year.
  • Coloration: Juveniles have more visible light speckling on their dark scales compared to adults. The speckles fade as they mature.
  • Features: Young snakes have proportionally larger heads and eyes compared to the rest of their body.

The eastern indigo snake is the longest native snake in North America. Its blue-black sheen and orange throat markings distinguish it from other dark rat snakes which have a dull gray hue with lighter flecking.