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Drymarchon couperi, eastern indigo snake
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Drymarchon
Fitzinger, 1843
Species and subspecies

D. caudomaculatus
D. corais
D. couperi
D. melanurus
    D. m. erebennus


Coluber, Compsosoma, Georgia, Spilotes [1]

Drymarchon is a genus of large nonvenomous colubrid snakes, commonly known as indigo snakes, endemic to the Southeastern United States, Central America, and South America. Three to four species are currently recognized.[2]


Indigo snakes are large, robust snakes which can reach a length of over 3 m (9.8 ft). They have smooth dorsal scales with several color variations, including a glossy blue-black color.

Behavior and diet[edit]

Indigo snakes are diurnal and actively forage for prey. They feed on a broad variety of small animals such as rodents, birds, lizards, frogs, toads, and other snakes, including rattlesnakes. They are not aggressive snakes and will only bite when threatened. Typical threat display includes hissing and shaking of its tail as a warning.


The genus Drymarchon was formerly considered to be a monotypic taxon formed by subspecies of D. corais. Currently the genus includes six distinct species recognized by ITIS:[2]


  1. ^ Wright, A.H., and A.A. Wright. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Comstock. Ithaca and London. 1,105 pp. (in 2 volumes) (Drymarchon, p. 200.)
  2. ^ a b "Drymarchon". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  3. ^ Wüster, Wolfgang; José Luís Yrausquin; Abraham Mijares-Urrutia (2001). "A new species of indigo snake from north-western Venezuela (Serpentes: Colubridae: Drymarchon)" (PDF). Herpetological Journal. 11: 157–165. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-02-05. 
  4. ^ Hammerson, G.A (2007). "Drymarchon couperi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  5. ^ Krysko, Kenneth L.; Michael C. Granatosky; Leroy P. Nuñez; Daniel J. Smith (2016). "A cryptic new species of Indigo Snake (genus Drymarchon) from the Florida Platform of the United States". Zootaxa. 4138 (3): 549–569. 
  6. ^ Lee, J.; Calderón Mandujano, R.; Lopez-Luna, M.A.; Vasquez Díaz, J. & Quintero Díaz, G.E. (2007). "Drymarchon melanurus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, Fasciculus Primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller & Seidel. Vienna. 106 pp. (Drymarchon, p. 26.)

External links[edit]