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Fang-tastic Facts About The Indigo Snake For Kids

Eastern Indigo snake facts about a non-venomous snake native to North America.

The longest known North American native snake, the Eastern Indigo, is a non-venomous snake with uniform and smooth dorsal and lateral scales and reddish-orange throat and chin. Eastern Indigo snakes are commonly known as the Indigo snake, the Black Snake, the Blue Bull Snake, the Blue Gopher Snake, and the Blue Indigo Snake. The name Blue Gopher snake is given as this species gopher tortoise burrows as shelter during the winter season. A few interesting Blue Indigo snake facts are that these snakes prefer to escape more than attacking when approached by humans. Under situations unfavorable to escape, they flatten their neck to make their head appear large along with hissing sounds to show its aggression. It also vibrates its tail which in dry leaves, it sounds like a rattlesnake.

This article will take you through interesting Eastern Indigo snake facts for kids. If you would love to know more about few more snake species, you may also consider looking into our articles on the hognose snake and the eastern diamondback rattlesnake facts.

Indigo Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Indigo Snake?

Eastern Indigo snakes are non-venomous snakes that belong to the Colubridae family.

What class of animal does an Indigo Snake belong to?

An Indigo snake belongs to the Reptilia class and is the longest native snake in the United States.

How many Indigo Snakes are there in the world?

The exact population data for the Indigo snake is not available. As per the conservation status, it is presumed that this species' population is more reduced.

Where does an Indigo Snake live?

Eastern Indigo snakes are primarily found in sandhill plant communities with longleaf pine and pine Flatwoods in Florida and Georgia.

What is an Indigo Snake's habitat?

The preferred habitat for Eastern Indigo snakes is pine Flatwoods, hardwood hammocks, cane fields, stream bottoms, and sandy soils. Habitat preferences for this snake species vary based on seasons. Eastern Indigo snakes prefer sandhill habitats from December to April, pine hardwood communities from May to July, and shady creek bottoms from August to November.

Who do Indigo Snakes live with?

Eastern Indigo snakes are known to cohabit with Gopher tortoises. This snake species takes shelter in gopher tortoise burrows during the winter season. If they don't find the gopher tortoise burrows, they take shelter in hollow logs, debris piles, and armadillo holes.

How long does an Indigo Snake live?

The average lifespan details of the Eastern Indigo snake are not available. An Eastern Indigo snake lived nearly 26 years under human care, but there is no recorded evidence to justify this fact.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for Eastern Indigo snakes is between November and April. Females Indigo snakes lay eggs in May or June every year. They mainly use gopher tortoise burrows as nest sites for hatching between August and September. The average clutch size is 6-12 with varying eggs size, i.e. 3-4 inches long and 1-1.3 inches wide. These snakes are oviparous as the eggs are laid with little or no embryonic development. If necessary, they can delay the fertilization of eggs as they have the ability to store sperm. The hatching period for this species is around 90 days. The hatchlings' size will be approximately in the range of 2-2.3 ft long. The eggs' size decides the size of the hatchling, i.e. large size eggs produce larger size hatchlings.

What is their conservation status?

Eastern Indigo snake species are known to spread across Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi states in the United States. The conservation status of this species varies based on the location. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, under the Endangered Species Act in 1978, has classified the Eastern Indigo snake as threatened species in Florida and Georgia states. This species is classified as extirpated by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. These are also considered locally extinct in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Northern Florida. The main reason for this local extinction is habitat loss. A restoration program in Northern Florida started in 2018 and is underway.

Indigo Snake Fun Facts

What do Indigo Snakes look like?

Eastern Indigo snakes have glossy blue-black smooth scales with reddish-orange to tan color on chins and throats. These snakes are often confused with black snake species like the Black Racers, the Black Pine snake, the Eastern Kingsnake, the Eastern Hognose, and the Eastern Coachwhip. Of all these species, the Eastern Indigo snakes closely resemble the Black Racers. The East Indigo snakes can be distinguished based on their chin color (black, cream, or red), i.e. the Black Racers usually have white chins. They also differ in speeds, i.e. the Black Racers move faster than the Eastern Indigo snakes.

An Eastern Indigo snake is the longest snake native to the United States

How cute are they?

Eastern Indigo snakes look attractive with their shiny blue-black scales, and their ventral scales appear blackish-purple in broad daylight.

How do they communicate?

Eastern Indigo snakes communicate similarly to other snake species, i.e. by pheromones. Pheromones are chemical signals received by the vomeronasal organ through their glands. The information about the snake's age, gender, and ready to mate is provided to other snake species with these signals.

How big is an Indigo Snake?

The Eastern Indigo snake, Drymarchon couperi, is considered the longest snake in the Colubridae family. The size of Indigo snakes varies based on gender, the males grow to a size of 3.9-8.5 ft, whereas the females grow to a size of 3.6-6.6 ft. The male Eastern Indigo snakes grow faster than the females. The snake that rivals an Indigo snake in length is the Eastern Coachwhip with a maximum reported size of 8.5 ft. But these snakes are leaner compared to Indigo snakes and have a bi-colored body, i.e. the head, neck, and the first quarter of the body appears black, and the remaining three-quarters of the body appears brown.

How fast can an Indigo Snake move?

Eastern Indigo snakes are slow-moving species compared to Black Rat snakes and Black Racers.

How much does an Indigo Snake weigh?

The Eastern Indigo snake weight varies based on gender. the males weigh 1.6-11 lb, whereas the females weigh 1.2-6 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The Eastern Indigo snake is doesn't have any gender-specific name. Generally, they are called male Eastern Indigo snakes and female Eastern Indigo snakes.

What would you call a baby Indigo Snake?

Baby Indigo snake is called a hatchling, and a young snake is called a snakelet.

What do they eat?

They prey on frogs, lizards, turtles, small birds, young gopher tortoises, and other snakes, including venomous species like rattlesnakes.

Are they poisonous?

Eastern Indigo snake is non-venomous species. This snake seldom bites humans. So, it is not considered as dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

The shiny blue-black scales of an Eastern Indigo snake make it an attractive pet. However, it is illegal to domesticate an Indigo snake as a pet without a permit. Only a few states in the United States allow sale within the state but a federal permit is required to buy outside the state to own an Eastern Indigo snake. As per the protected status of an Indigo snake, it is illegal to kill it.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Are you interested to know few more facts about the Eastern Indigo snake? Here we go!

Humans are considered the primary threat to this species than deforestation. We already know that these species use Gopher tortoises' burrows as shelters. Humans do gassing to kill rattlesnakes, i.e. they fill such burrows and armadillo holes with gasoline. The majority of the time, both Indigo snakes and Gopher tortoises become accidental victims. This habitat loss adds to both Indigo snake and Gopher tortoises' conservation issues.

Another interesting fact is that these snake species are sexually dimorphic and diurnal (active during the daytime).

Different types of Indigo Snake

Different types of Indigo snakes are the Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) and Texas Indigo snake (Drymarchon melarunus erebennus) found in Texas and Mexico. The Texas Indigo snake is black with salmon pink on the bottom side. This snake is considered an ally by farmers as it kills rattlesnakes in farms.

Indigo Snakes vs. Rattlesnakes

The Eastern Indigo snake is a predator for a rattlesnake. Unlike many non-poisonous snakes, the Indigo snake is not a constrictor. Therefore, the Indigo snake overpowers the rattlesnake with its muscular jaws and swallows it alive. During this process of killing a rattlesnake, the Indigo snake takes the bite of the rattlesnake. The venom of rattlesnake doesn't kill an Indigo snake as it is immune to rattlesnake's venom.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including rattlesnake, or corn snake.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Indigo snake coloring pages.

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