Little Indigo


Ben Stegenga of The Orianne Society, photographed here with Matt Elliott, Nongame Biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, recently captured a small male Eastern Indigo Snake (4 feet long) at a private land in South Georgia. The snake—found prowling the shadows of a dark, now dry, creek swamp at high noon—was probably foraging. Ben spotted a hint of salmon-orange pigment on the chin of the snake, convincing him it was an Indigo and not a Black Racer.

Long-term mark recapture studies of Eastern Indigos conducted by Orianne Society staff and colleagues have shown that Indigos this size (at this time of year) are just over one year old (i.e., this snake hatched in August-September 2015). A slightly larger male snake, 5.5 feet long, just captured at the Orianne Indigo Snake Preserve is likely one year older. Mark-recapture data for southern Georgia indicates that male Indigos grow to close to their maximum size (7 feet total length) in about seven years, with the smaller females reaching their asymptotic lengths, circa 5.5 feet, in about five years.

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