Drymarchon corais couperi
- Average size: 60-74 inches; Record 103.5 inches. Young are 19-24 inches at
- Range: Peninsular Florida, with a few isolated populations in the Florida
panhandle and north Key Largo, however nowhere are they abundant.
- Diet: Snakes, including rattlesnakes, cottonmouth moccasins and copperheads,
frogs, salamanders, toads, small mammals, birds, and occasionally young turtles.
- Status: It has full protection as a threatened species in Florida. It is illegal to
harass, harm, capture, keep, or kill an eastern indigo snake without specific
state and/or federal permits. This is the largest of Florida snakes and requires a
relatively large area of undeveloped land. In one study, four male snakes
averaged 470 acres for their spring/summer activity ranges; one individual used a
territory of 1,400 acres. Habitat for indigos are becoming more and more
fragmented by roads and development. This is one reason for the population
decline. Some are killed by uninformed people that have no idea that this snake
eats venomous pit vipers such as: rattlesnakes, cottonmouth moccasins and
copperheads. Rattlesnake hunters often use the gassing method, a practice that
is illegal, to flush rattlesnakes out of gopher holes. I'm sure this has an adverse
affect on not only indigos and gophers, but on any other animal that uses these
holes. Education is the key to preserving such a majestic snake.