The federally threatened and state-threatened eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) is the longest native snake in North America. Today, this unique reptile is found only in disjunct populations in the extreme southeast, with most occurring in Florida and Georgia.
The population SCCF monitors appears to be the last barrier island population known to science.
SCCF works with the Orianne Society, J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, and Florida State Parks to help assess the remaining populations of eastern indigo snakes in Pine Island Sound.
Our biologists mark and tag snakes with Passive Integrated Transponders (PIT) tags so movements can be documented.
SCCF trains permittees to capture and process snakes and teaches volunteers to identify and document eastern indigo snakes, and educate others about keeping them safe.
Eastern Indigo Snake Facts
- Eastern indigo snakes are non-venomous. Learn about venomous snakes in Southwest Florida.
- They can reach over 8 feet in length (average is 5-7 feet)
- Their scales are bluish-black, and reddish-orange, brown, or tan on the throat, cheeks, and chin
- They have the largest home range of any snake in the U.S. A male's range can be up to 2 miles!
- They like upland, grassland areas near the edge of hammocks during the dry season and go into shadier, wetter areas over the summer
- They're frequent visitors of gopher tortoise burrows
- They often bask in the sun on cooler days
- They breed in winter. Sightings during summer are uncommon due to the intense heat
Threats to Eastern Indigo Snakes
- Vehicle strikes. These diurnal snakes may travel long distances and are prone to crossing roads. They are mostly non-existent in areas with roads.
- Habitat loss and fragmentation
- Pollutants and biomagnification of toxins in prey
- Poaching and fear-based illegal killing
Report Eastern Indigo Snake Sightings
If you think you've seen an eastern indigo snake, take a photo without disturbing them to record their location and report it to SCCF at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-472-3984.
Eastern indigo snakes resemble the very common southern black racer (Coluber constrictor priapus) and Florida watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata pictiventris), so be aware that there are other black snakes in the area.