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Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais)—Leonard Lee Rue III
Nonvenomous snake (Drymarchon corais, family Colubridae) found from the southeastern U.S. to Brazil. The largest snake in the U.S., it has a record length of 9.2 ft (2.8 m). In the U.S. it is blue-black; southward it may have brown foreparts, and in the tropics it is often called brown snake. It kills small vertebrates, including venomous snakes, by crushing with its jaws and the weight of its coils, but is not a constrictor. In defense it hisses and vibrates its tail but rarely strikes. It may share a burrow with a gopher tortoise, for which it is often called gopher snake. It has been listed as an endangered species since the 1970s.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on indigo snake, visit Britannica.com.