While the state of Georgia is most known for its beauty and delicious peaches, it is also home to many animals, including about 46 different species of snakes. Don’t worry though, a very small number of these snakes are venomous. In reality, most of these snakes are relatively harmless. Many are just fascinating to look at, whether they are big or small. But what is the largest snake ever to be found in Georgia? Let’s find out!
Snakes that are Native to Georgia
A few venomous snakes that are native to Georgia include the copperhead snake, the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the cottonmouth snake, the pygmy rattlesnake, the timber rattlesnake, and the Eastern coral snake. While these snakes are both venomous and potentially dangerous, they do not make up most of the population of snakes that reside in Georgia. Some of the other different species that live in Georgia are indigo snakes, ribbon snakes, water snakes, rat snakes, milk snakes, and many more. While most of these snakes are average in size, some can get quite big. Let’s see what snake is said to be the biggest in this beautiful state!
The Largest Snake Ever Found In Georgia
Recently, an indigo snake was found in Georgia that totaled up to 7 feet and 7 inches in length. However, it is not the biggest recorded. The biggest snake ever recorded in Georgia was an Eastern indigo snake, but this one grew up to 9 feet and 2 inches! US native snakes typically reach an average of 5-7 feet in length. Clearly, this beautiful beast topped the charts. And, not only was it the largest snake found in Georgia, but it was also the largest Eastern indigo snake ever to be recorded!
About the Indigo Snake
The Eastern indigo snake is a large, non-venomous snake that belongs to the Colubridae family. Although this snake is wild, it can be bought as a household pet. Due to their size, they tend to rarely have natural predators n the wild. However, hawks, alligators, and even other indigo snakes have been known to prey on them. Thankfully, its conservation status is of least concern, though it is decreasing.
The average length of Eastern indigo snakes is roughly 5-7 feet. They can also weigh up to 10 pounds! They have thick, long bodies with smaller heads and thin tails. Many of these snakes however have often reached up to 8 feet in length! They are the longest snake native to the United States and are commonly found on the east coast. They are abundant in Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida because they prefer moist forests and swamps. No wonder the largest specimen was found in Georgia; it has 7 million acres of swampy wetlands! This creates the perfect habitat for these long, heavy-bodied, fellows!
Eastern indigo snakes may be the largest snakes native to the country, but they are also incredibly stunning! These snakes are blueish-black in color and have cheeks, throats, and heads that are mostly red or brown but can also be white. Their scales are often glossy and sometimes can reflect a purple and black color.
As for behavior, they are typically not dangerous and usually do not pose a threat to pets or humans. In fact, they often avoid direct contact and will only attack or bite when threatened. As for their prey, they tend to attack aggressively. If a person or pet does get bitten by an indigo snake, the bite can be painful but is thankfully not venomous.
Eastern indigo snakes are carnivores and usually eat their prey after they attack them, swallowing them headfirst. Their diet consists of turtles, lizards, frogs, small birds, small mammals, and even other snakes. They are terrestrial snakes that often expose and chase down their prey. Sometimes they even climb trees in pursuit of their next meal. Younger snakes will prey on invertebrates while adult indigo snakes will press their prey against a structure before biting and devouring. They usually will not constrict unless their prey is much larger and willing to put up a fight. They have even been known to eat venomous snakes!
Eastern indigo snakes are terrestrial snakes that primarily hunt on the ground but can climb trees and shrubs. They inhabit pine flat woods and hardwood forests, moist grounds, and areas that surround forest-filled swamps. As for geographical areas, you are more likely to find them in southeastern parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and pretty much all of Florida. While they inhabit swamps, they also prefer well-drained soils of sandhills.
Years ago, the Eastern indigo snake was nearly classified as a threatened species due to the loss of habitats. Thankfully, it is now a species of Least Concern. While this snake is usually harmless, make sure to be aware of your surroundings if you spot one in the wild. Allow it to retreat and continue on its way, or simply leave the area as safe as possible. If you are wanting to own this snake as a pet, keep in mind it requires adequate habitats and feeding schedules. In captivity, it is known to develop anorexia if not fed properly and consistently. These are beautiful creatures that are important to our ecosystem, so it is best to care for them in any way possible!
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