If a Texas indigo snake thinks it will be able to swallow something, it will attempt to eat it. These black reptiles will go after birds, mammals, and lizards, they’ll eat eggs, and they’ll swallow down a turtle. It’s hard to imagine that digesting a turtle in its shell gets fun, but they go for it anyway. They also eat other snakes, including rattlesnakes. Because of this last one, and because it’s non-venomous, farmers in the southern part Texas, where the indigo is from, actually quite like these creatures. They have a saying, “If it’s an indigo, let it go.” Meanwhile, toads may have preferred the farmers took a harsher take.
In the video below, Ranger Bianca at the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park took a video of one Texas indigo snake burrowing down into the rocky ground so that it can catch a road and swallow it. It was pretty clever of the toad to think it could find safety down there, but, it just wasn’t the toad’s day. See the video below.
The Texas indigo snake doesn’t usually attack. They are non-venomous, but they will bite if they feel threatened. When threatened, it is also possible for them to emit a foul-smelling musk. The smell is released from their cloaca and is enough to get most predators to back off. This happens when people try to handle the snake, or if they are just getting too close so the reptile feels harassed. With that being noted, it may seem like the videographer in this case is getting too close to the action. However, the Facebook page for the state park claims that the ranger, in this case, was trained for exactly this kind of situation and knew what they were doing, so they were safe and the reptile was fine. The snake certainly doesn’t seem distracted from going after its goal.
Though the Texas indigo snake doesn’t have a rattle like a rattlesnake, it does shake its tail when it feels threatened, so there is often some warning before a predator is bit or hit with the foul-smelling odor.
While ranchers and farmers in southern Texas and Northern Mexico love the Texas indigo snake, they face some harsh threats. Three of them are from humans. While ranchers and farmers know to let these reptiles live, since they’ll take care of other dangers to their animals or crops lurking on their property, many see this snake and think they should kill it. After all, the snake is huge. They are often six to eight feet long. They look frightening. On top of that, with all that length, they are often run over by cars. This is one of the most common threats they face. The third threat is simply a limited range for them to live on as human developments encroach on the snake’s territory. This is perhaps its largest threat. The state of Texas has listed the reptile as a threatened species, which is terrible news for farmers in the state.