Indigo snake By: Andrew Nickerson
There Habitat • They are found in a variety of habitats. But their habitat is dependant on there location. • Their habitats in Florida are sand hills, oak scrub, sand pine scrub, mangrove swamps, wet prairies, cabbage palm live-oak hammock, pine flat woods, sugarcane fields, citrus groves, and rock strewn canals. • In northern parts of Florida and Georgia they mostly rely on Gopher Tortoise holes.
Facts • They are a non venomous species of snake. • They have immunity to the venom of sympatric snakes. • Sympatric means in that area. • They are colored a indigo color to gunmetal black with a chin that is normally orange-red. • They are only found in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. • They are the longest snake in North America growing up to 8 feet and 7.1 inches. • The Latin translation for their name is forest ruler.
Facts (Cont.) • They are a threatened species right now. They are thinking now that they are extinct in Mississippi and Alabama but are still in the process of checking it. • These snakes are sometimes confused as a snake called the black racer when they are young. • The reason why these snakes are threatened is because the gassing of the Gopher Tortoise holes to kill Diamondback Rattlesnakes. As I have said these snakes live in these holes for protection from the winter weather and when they are gassed they are killed by it. • These snakes are all through the Everglades and the Indian River Lagoon.
Reproduction • They have a high adult survivorship. • High longevity • Low juvenile survivorship • Male biased-sexual dimorphism, dimorphism: the condition in which the males and females in a species are morphologically different. • Males are said to be sexually mature at two to three years of age while females it is three to four years of age. • Females will lay a single clutch of 4 to 14 large eggs.
Diet • They are indiscriminate carnivores meaning they will eat anything they can overpower including there own kind. • Their have been cases of cannibalism but it is very rare for it to happen. • They will eat toads, snakes, lizards, juvenile gopher tortoises, fishes, frogs, birds and their eggs, and small mammals.
The scientific classification • Kingdom: Animalia • Phylum: Chordata • Subphylum: Vertebrata • Class: Reptilia • Order: Squamata • Family: Colubridae • Subfamily: Colubrinae • Genus: Drymarchon • Species: Drymarchon couperi
Sources • www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Drymar_couper.htm • www.oriannesociety.org/eastern-indigo-snake • www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-guide/Drymarchoncouperi.htm • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_indigo_snake • http://www.fws.gov/verobeach/msrppdfs/easternindigosnake.pdf • http://www.fws.gov/northflorida/indigosnakes/indigo-snakes.htm