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1 March 2010 Prey Records for the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi)
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Prey items for the federally protected Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi) were compiled from published and gray literature, field observations, necropsies, dissection of museum specimens, and personal communications from reliable sources. One hundred and eighty-six records were obtained for 48 different prey species. Anurans, Gopher Tortoises, snakes, and rodents comprised ca. 85% of the prey items. Most records (n = 143) that mentioned size were from adult indigos; 17 were from juveniles. Prey records were collected from 1940–2008 and were available for all months of the year. These data confirm that Eastern Indigo Snakes eat a wide assortment of prey of varying sizes. This strategy allows D. couperi to potentially forage successfully in many different types of habitats and under fluctuating environmental conditions, a valuable trait for a top-level predator that requires a large home range.

Dirk J. Stevenson, M. Rebecca Bolt, Daniel J. Smith, Kevin M. Enge, Natalie L. Hyslop, Terry M. Norton, and Karen J. Dyer "Prey Records for the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi)," Southeastern Naturalist 9(1), 1-18, (1 March 2010).
Published: 1 March 2010

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