Meet the Texas indigo. The species range of the big, nonvenomous snake stretches from south Texas to the northern parts of Mexico. These snakes eat anything they can catch: mice, birds, lizards, frogs, and other snakes—even rattlesnakes.
Unlike some species of snake, indigos do not depend on the darkness to hunt their prey. They are diurnal and search for food during the day. Despite this, Texas indigo snakes are not always out in the open and often find shelter in shade or the abandoned burrows of other animals.
Texas indigo snakes are among the largest snakes native to the United States. The record length of an indigo snake is 2.6 meters (8.5 feet)! Both the eastern indigo snake (indigenous to Florida) and the Texas indigo are classified as threatened species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Texas indigo snakes are protected in the state of Texas and cannot be hunted or killed.
The scientific name of the Texas indigo snake is Drymarchon melanurus erebennus. Drymarchon is the genus, melanurus is the species, and erebennus is the subspecies. What is the difference between genus, species, and subspecies?
Drymarchon, the indigo snake genus, is made up of several species. How do scientists differentiate between genus and species? In other words, what makes a species a species?
What adaptations do indigo snakes need to live in hot environments like southern Texas and northern Mexico?
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry abandoned Adjective
small hole or tunnel used for shelter.
active during the day.
animal that is hunted and eaten by other animals.
species range Noun
native, geographic area in which an organism can be found. Range also refers to the geographic distribution of a particular species.
Encyclopedic Entry: species range threatened species Noun
organism that may soon become endangered.
having to do with venom or organisms that secrete venom.