Other common names

Gulf coast indigo snake, Indigo Snake, Racer

Basic description

Most adult eastern indigo snakes are about 60-82 inches (152-213 cm) in total length. These large and thick-bodied snakes are glossy black and have iridescent purple or blue highlights when viewed in sunlight. The chin and throat are typically red or orangish, and the color may extend down the body. Juveniles are glossy black with narrow whitish-blue bands.

blue-black snake with red marking under its jaw
Eastern indigo snake. Photo courtesy of Todd Pierson.

Range in Florida

Eastern indigo snakes are found throughout Florida. They appear to still occur in the Florida Keys, though sightings there are extremely rare.

Assessment of risk to people and pets

Non-venomous. Eastern indigo snakes are not dangerous to people or pets. These snakes are not aggressive and avoid direct contact when possible.

Comparison with other species

Black Racer
Photo courtesy of Luke Smith.

North American racer (Coluber constrictor) Non-venomous North American racers are smaller and they have thinner bodies. They also typically have a white chin and throat, and the black coloration of their bodies is duller.

snake with its head raised above the grass.
Photo courtesy of Luke Smith.

Eastern coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) Non-venomous Eastern coachwhips typically have a black head and neck and a tan body and tail.

Share your observations

You can help scientists better understand the biology and distribution of this species by sharing your observations. Send photos or videos of interesting observations, along with associated information, by emailing the herpetology staff at the Florida Museum for documentation in the Museum’s Herpetology Master Database. You can also post your observations on iNaturalist.

Additional helpful information

Do you have snakes around your house? Learn how to safely co-exist with snakes.

Still have questions about snakes or identifications? Feel free to email the herpetology staff at the Florida Museum with your questions or feedback on this profile.

Banner photo courtesy of Todd Pierson. Please credit any photographers on the page and see our copyright policy.