Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.





Florida Snakes: Pine, King, Brown, Indigo, Snakes
eastern indigo snakeEastern Indigo Snake- The Eastern Indigo Snake is a large nonpoisonous, stout bodied snake averaging six to seven feet in length.  The largest individual recorded was eight-and-a-half-feet.  The Indigo Snake is smooth scaled and uniform glossy blue-black throughout its body except for some reddish orange or cream color suffusion on its throat, cheeks and chin.  This coloration varies with some individuals having distinct coloration and others with no coloration.  Today the Eastern Indigo Snake is known to naturally occur in southern Georgia and Florida. This threatened snake lives in flatwoods, tropical hammocks, dry glades and moist bogs. In the northern portion of its range, including south Alabama, the indigo snake requires deep sand ridges and is often associated with the gopher tortoise. Adult snakes feed on small mammals, birds, and snakes, with a preference for snakes.  The indigo snake is thought to be the main predator of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake and data has shown the rattlesnake to be a preferred food item.

Florida Pine SnakeFlorida Pine Snake- Florida pine snakes are highly variable.  They can be patterned or non-patterned.  Their coloration and also be light or dark earth tones and the contrast can vary as well.  Florida Pine Snakes are found in open sandy areas, abandoned fields, and longleaf pine forests, as well as some oak forests.  They are reported to spend about 85% of their time underground, occupying burrows made by other animals such as the Florida gopher tortoise. Typical of most pine snakes, Florida pine snakes will usually raise the anterior portion of the body and loosely coil up and hiss very loudly while preparing to strike.  They will strike very quickly to scare off a predator.  Hissing is usually al it takes to scare off most people.

Pine Woods SnakePine Woods Snake- Pine Wood Snakes inhabit flat pinewoods and oak forests in the southern portion of the Coastal Plains. They are found under dry forest litter, in rotting logs, and under loose bark. Pine Woods Snakes measure 10-15 inches in length . Their dorsal coloration ranges from a shiny golden-brown to a reddish-brown and their scales are smooth . Sometimes a thin, faint, dark brown stripe runs along the pine wood snake's back. A similar stripe may also be seen on the side of the snake. The head of the Pine Woods Snake is a darker color than the rest of the snake and a dark line runs through the eye. The scales above the mouth are yellow. The bellies of these snakes are white or yellowish.



Florida King SnakeFlorida Kingsnake- The adult Florida Kingsnake reaches a length of 35 to 50 inches. The longest specimens can reach a length of almost 70 inches. They have a lot of yellowish cross bands and black ones as well. The Florida King Snake is not venomous and bites only very seldom. It is most active during night and not very often encountered by humans. Florida kingsnakes feed on rodents and sometimes even other snakes. They do however like lizards and frogs as well and they even feed on their own eggs and kinds from time to time. They are immune to rattlesnake venom and have no problems in eating newborn or small rattlesnakes. Eastern King Snakes are about the same size as the Florida King Snakes. The longest found specimens of the Eastern King Snake are however a bit longer than their fellow King Snake species in Florida. It can be found in many habitats but mainly in the most northern parts of the state of Florida.

scarlet kingsnakeScarlet Kingsnake- Compared to other  species of kingsnakes, the Scarlet Kingsnake is quite small. This snake is a burrower and seldom seen. The Scarlet Kingsnake prefers wooded areas containing pine trees, and is sometimes found under the bark of rotting stumps, under rotten logs and in trash piles. Food typically includes lizards, other small snakes, baby mice, earthworms and possibly other insects. Lizards appear to be the preferred food, especially skinks. When handled the scarlet kingsnake tries vigorously to escape and will sometimes try to bite, although with its small mouth and teeth it can do little harm.

Florida brown snakeFlorida Brown Snake- Florida Brown Snakes are small, averaging only 9-13 inches in length. They are brown to gray snakes with keeled scales, a light band across the back of the neck, and dark pigment on the lip scales. There are often a series of tiny black dots along each side of the belly. Florida Brown Snakes can be found in a variety of habitats but is most common in moist habitats with abundant ground cover. Such habitats include hardwood hammocks, swamp and wetland margins, and even suburban yards. Like other Brown snakes, Florida Brown Snakes generally hide under cover such as leaf litter and logs, but are sometimes seen active in the evening or at night. This species is viviparous, and females give birth to 3-31 young, in summer. 
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