Florida Showdown: Who Emerges Victorious in a Rattlesnake vs Indigo Snake Battle?

Written by August Croft
Published: January 31, 2023
© iStock.com/Wide-River-Rick
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It’s no secret just how many snakes there are in Florida. In fact, Florida hosts some of the most diverse snake populations in the entire United States, including the rattlesnake and the Eastern indigo snake. When it comes down to it, who would win in a battle between a rattlesnake vs indigo snake? the answer may be more complicated than you think. 

In this article, we will go over the stats of both the average rattlesnake and the average indigo snake in order to determine a winner in this battle. We will also go over the general strengths and weaknesses of both of these snake species so that we can fairly judge both contenders. Given the fact that both of these species are indeed found in the same ecosystems in Florida, a fight between them may be more common than you expect. Let’s get started! 

Rattlesnake vs Indigo Snake: An Overview

Rattlesnake vs Indigo Snake
While both of these snakes appear similar in terms of their abilities and fighting styles, there are some differences between the rattlesnake and the average indigo snake.

©A-Z-Animals.com

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Think You Can?
FactsRattlesnakeIndigo Snake
Venomous?YesNo
Speed and AgilityFast and capable of moving on both land and in waterVery fast and more agile compared to the bulkier rattlesnake
StrengthStrong body but relies primarily on its strike force and venomVery strong; hunts by holding down its prey until it suffocates
SizeUp to 20 pounds and 7 feet longUp to 10 pounds and 9 feet long
Aggressive?Yes, to most humans and animalsNot toward humans, but likely toward other snakes
Defenses-Rattling tail
-Defensive strike position
-Fairly fast if necessary
-Partially immune to rattlesnake venom
-Emits a musk when threatened
-Good at hunting snakes

While both of these snakes appear similar in terms of their abilities and fighting styles, there are some differences between the rattlesnake and the average indigo snake. For example, indigo snakes are much longer than the average rattlesnake and are considered the longest snake in the United States. However, rattlesnakes are often more massive and heavier than indigo snakes despite their smaller length. 

In addition to this, the indigo snake is in fact a non-venomous species of snake, while the rattlesnake maintains many records of just how venomous it truly is. However, the primary offensive capabilities of the average rattlesnake are rendered useless in the face of the indigo snake. That’s right: indigo snakes are notorious for having some resistance to rattlesnake venom. 

However, this doesn’t guarantee a win for the indigo snake. Let’s take a closer look at both of these snake species in detail to determine a true winner in this battle! 

Indigo Snakes: Strengths and Weaknesses

Rattlesnake vs Indigo Snake
The indigo snake frequently consumes other snakes, as well as a variety of other animals.

©Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock.com

While they may look frightening, the non-venomous indigo snake is in fact in need of protection from the average human. These snakes are considered threatened in a variety of locations in the United States, though they seem to thrive in Florida in particular. Reaching up to 9 feet long and roughly 10 pounds, indigo snakes are large and typically found in shades of black or blue. 

The indigo snake frequently consumes other snakes, as well as a variety of other animals. In fact, this particular snake species is notorious for taking down just about anything that it can, so long as it can overpower it. Given the fact that it is non-venomous, indigo snakes simply use their strength to pin down their prey and suffocate it against flat surfaces rather than constriction. 

However, they are not particularly aggressive towards humans and prefer to flee should they be accosted in any way. They are also capable of emitting a strong musk to ward off predators, and the jaws of the indigo snake are extremely powerful should you happen to be bitten. Overall, indigo snakes save their power and aggression for their prey, which may be the occasional rattlesnake! 

Rattlesnakes: Strengths and Weaknesses

Rattlesnake vs Indigo Snake
Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are notorious for their aggression and their powerful venom.

©Chase D’animulls/Shutterstock.com

There are a number of different rattlesnake species found within the state of Florida. However, for the sake of argument, we will be focusing on the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, a snake species endemic to Florida and located in the same location as the Eastern indigo snake. These rattlesnakes are also the largest species of rattlesnakes among all other types of rattlesnakes. 

Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are notorious for their aggression and their powerful venom. They have killed many fully grown humans and are also quite skilled when it comes to their speed. These rattlesnakes have also been observed swimming, giving them quite the advantage in the wet and swampy terrain of Florida. 

When it comes to their defenses, rattlesnakes have their eponymous rattle that alerts predators to their existence. In addition to this, Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are huge, and capable of reaching up to 7 feet long on average, though there are specimens closer to 9 feet in length. They are also heavier and considered one of the most massive venomous snakes in North and South America, ranging anywhere from 10-20 pounds.

Who Would Win: Rattlesnake vs Indigo Snake

Rattlesnake vs Indigo Snake
If a rattlesnake was able to escape or otherwise injure an indigo snake, it may have a chance of winning this particular battle.

©iStock.com/sstaton

While these snakes appear evenly matched in size, speed, agility, and defenses, there is something that determines this battle easily. The indigo snake has been carefully studied and it appears as if it has a resistance to rattlesnake venom, the primary offensive capability of the average rattlesnake. In fact, indigo snakes frequently hunt and consume rattlesnakes in their natural environment, making this Florida showdown an easy battle to determine. 

If a rattlesnake was able to escape or otherwise injure an indigo snake, it may have a chance of winning this particular battle. However, indigo snakes are well-versed in hunting other types of snakes and will likely still be able to overpower the average rattlesnake. If the rattlesnake happened to be far more massive compared to the indigo snake in question, it might win. However, indigo snakes have definitely been observed eating rattlesnakes for breakfast!

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Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Close Up
© iStock.com/Wide-River-Rick

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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