The eastern indigo snake is carnivorous, like all snakes, and will eat any other small animal it can overpower. This powerful predator has been known to kill its prey by wildly beating it against nearby objects. Its diet has been known to include other snakes, including venomous ones such as water moccasins and rattlesnakes, as it is immune to the venom of the North American rattlesnakes. Eastern indigo snakes also feed on turtles, lizards, frogs, toads, a variety of small birds, mammals as well as eggs.
The eastern indigo snake has an even blue-black coloration, with some specimens having a reddish-orange to tan color on the throat, cheeks, and chin. This snake received its name from the glossy iridescent blackish-purple sheen it displays in bright light. This smooth-scaled snake is considered to be the longest native snake species in the United States. Mature male indigo snakes are slightly larger than females, measuring less than 8.0 ft, whereas a mature female typically measures around 6.0 ft in length.
As defensive behavior the eastern indigo snake vertically flattens its neck, hisses, and vibrates its tail. Nevertheless, Indigo snakes are usually not aggressive towards human and If picked up, they seldom bite.
It often will cohabit with gopher tortoises in their underground burrows, although it will settle for armadillo holes, hollow logs, and debris piles when gopher tortoise burrows can’t be found. Hunters, hoping to flush out rattlesnakes, often wind up accidentally killing indigo snakes when they illegally pour gasoline into the burrows of gopher tortoises (a practice referred to as “gassing”), even though the tortoises themselves are endangered and protected.
Humans represent the biggest threat to indigo snakes. Highway fatalities, wanton killings, and overcollection for the pet trade adversely affect indigo snake populations. Snakes are taken illegally from the wild for the pet trade.
The Eastern Indigo Snakes was filmed by Heiko Kiera aka Ojatro in South Florida 2013.