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Drymarchon

Drymarchon

The genus Drymarchon of colubrid snakes includes the Indigo snakes and various other relatives, including the Cribo snakes, all of which are found in the Southeastern United States, Central America, and South America.

Species in this genus include:

There are currently efforts to separate the taxa corais, couperi, margaritae, and melanurus into distinct species. The proposed separation would look something like this:

Indigo

The indigo snake, a member of the colubrid family of snakes, is the (unofficially) longest snake in North America, with the longest recorded specimen measuring 9.2 feet (2.8m), but it is not the longest of its genus. The yellowtail cribo, also of the genus Drymarchon, has been known to reach 10 feet (3.05m) in length, but it is located in Central and South America and is dwarfed by the anaconda, the largest (longest and heaviest) known snake in the Americas. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake gets much heavier than the indigo but is not as long. The indigo snake gets its name from the glossy iridescent blackish-purple sheen it displays in bright light.

It is carnivorous, like all snakes, and will eat any other small animal it can overpower. It has been known to kill its prey by wildly beating it against nearby objects. Captive specimen are frequently fed dead prey to prevent injury to the snake from this violent method of subduing its prey. Its diet has been known to include other snakes (ophiophagy), including venomous ones, as it is immune to the venom of the North American rattlesnakes. It often will cohabit with [polyphemus|gopher tortoises] in their underground burrows, although it will settle for armadillo holes, hollow logs, and debris piles when gopher tortoise burrows can't be found. Hunters, hoping to flush out rattlesnakes, often wind up accidentally killing indigo snakes when they illegally pour gasoline into the burrows of gopher tortoises (a practice referred to as "gassing"), even though the tortoises themselves are also endangered and protected.

Indigo: captivity and care

As a result of overzealous collection and the destruction of its habitat, it is a threatened species. Due to its generally docile nature and attractive appearance, some people find it a desirable pet, although its protected status can make owning one, depending on location, illegal without a permit. Only a few states require permits to own an Eastern Indigo but a federal permit is required to buy one from out of state anywhere in the US. The permit costs $100; information about obtaining one can be found by doing a web search. Most states allow unrestricted in-state sales. Prices in 2006 are generally around $1,000 for the Eastern Indigo. To thrive in captivity, this snake requires a larger enclosure than most species do, preferably with something to climb on.

This genus includes four species:

*Yellowtail Cribo, Drymarchon corais corais (Boie, 1827)
*Texas Indigo Snake, Drymarchon corais erebennus (Cope, 1860)
*Margarita Island Cribo, Drymarchon corais margaritae (Roze, 1959)
*Orizaba Cribo, Drymarchon corais orizabensis (Dugés, 1905)
*Mexican Redtail Cribo, Drymarchon corais rubidus (Smith, 1941)
*Unicolor Cribo, Drymarchon corais unicolor (Smith, 1941)

Indigo: External links

Indigo: References

Cribo

The cribo is a member of the Drymarchon genus, as is the Indigo snake of the Southeastern United States. Within this genus the Yellowtail cribo holds the distinction of being the longest, as it has been known to reach 10 feet (3.05m) in length. Its cousin, the Indigo snake, is the longest snake in North America, as the cribo's distribution is limited to Central and South America.

It is carnivorous and will eat any other small animal it can overpower. As it is not a constrictor and is nonvenomous, it subdues prey by thrashing it about (much like a terrier does a rat) until it can pin the animal down and swallow it whole.

Species in this genus include:

Cribo: External links

  • http://www.indigosnakes.com
  • http://biology.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/Publications/Drymarchon.pdf
  • http://biology.bangor.ac.uk/%7Ebss166/Taxa/Drymar.htm
  • http://www.peanut.org/mike/text/indigosnakes.htm

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