Western Hognose Snake

Name

Western Hognose Snake

Scientific Name

Heterodon nasicus

Characteristics

The Western hognose is medium sized snake which is characterised by its distinctive upturned snout. This feature is characteristic of all hognose species and is used by the snake to burrow through soil or sand.

This snake varies in colour from light brown to a darker reddish-brown. They have a contrasting pattern of darker colour patches on its skin.

The Western hognose snake produces a toxic saliva in a gland called the Duvernoy’s gland. It can cause a mild allergic reaction in humans but it is not considered dangerous. In fact, the Western hognose is renowned for being a docile snake. It only bites when feeding and not in self-defence.

This snake breeds in spring and usually lays between 4-25 eggs thin-shelled eggs at a time. The eggs hatch after approximately 60 days. Hatchings are 15-19cm in length.

Diet

They eat rodents, amphibians, lizards and eggs.

Size Fact

Adults can grow to 83cm long.

Food Fact

This snake has been known to use its shovel shaped nose to dig for turtle eggs.

Fun Fact

They have been known to roll over and ‘play dead’ when under attack from predators!

IUCN Red list

Least concern

Where do I live?

The Western hognose snake is native to North America.

Back to the top