Eastern Indigo Snake
Drymarchon corais couperi
Biome: Southern Swamps
Biography: The eastern indigo snake is the longest snake in North America and can reach lengths of over eight feet. This large thick-bodied snake has a glossy blue-black color with scales that are iridescent in the sunlight. Hunting during the day, an indigo forages for a wide variety of prey, including small mammals, birds, fish, frogs and toads, small turtles and other snakes. Not a constrictor, the indigo snake subdues its prey with powerful jaws, then pins it to the ground and swallows it while still alive. An indigo snake often uses a gopher tortoise burrow for shelter and protection. Habitat loss, over-collection, and the destruction of tortoise burrows have all contributed to the decline of this species.
Once found throughout the coastal plain of the southeastern US, its current range is now limited to southern Georgia and Florida. In 1978, the eastern indigo snake was listed as a threatened species and given protection under the Endangered Species Act.