Eastern Hognose Snake

Eastern Hognose Snake

Eastern hog-nosed snake, Spreading adder, Deaf adder

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Heterodon platirhinos
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
12 years
Length
71
28
cminch
cm inch 

The Eastern hog-nosed snake (Heterodon platyrhinos) is a species of mildly venomous rear-fanged snake found only in North America. Its teeth inject a mild amphibian-specific venom into prey and also are used to "pop" inflated toads like a balloon to enable swallowing. Eastern hognose snakes have a slightly upturned snout, which gives them their name. They use it for digging in sandy soils.

Di

Diurnal

Ca

Carnivore

Te

Terrestrial

Pr

Precocial

Fo

Fossorial

Ov

Oviparous

Bu

Burrowing

Pr

Predator

Po

Polygynandry

Mi

Mildly venomous

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

Hi

Hibernating

E

starts with

Appearance

The color pattern of these snakes is extremely variable. It can be red, green, orange, brown, gray to black, or any combination thereof depending on locality. They can be blotched, checkered, or patternless. The belly tends to be a solid gray, yellow, or cream-colored. Females in this species are larger than males.

Video

Distribution

Geography

Eastern hognose snakes are found from eastern-central Minnesota, and Wisconsin to southern Ontario, Canada, and extreme southern New Hampshire, south to southern Florida, and west to eastern Texas and western Kansas. They live in forests and woodlands, fields, shrubland, prairies, grassland, river valleys, and coastal areas. These snakes prefer to live in habitats with sandy soils, into which they burrow.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Eastern hognose snakes are diurnal and solitary animals. They are mostly active during the summer months and usually begin hibernation in September-November. They hibernate individually underground in burrows that they excavate in sandy soil. However, they may also shelter in abandoned burrows of other animals. When threatened, Eastern hognose snakes will flatten their neck and raise their head off the ground. They also hiss and will strike, but they do not attempt to bite. If this threat display does not work to deter a would-be predator, a hognose snake will often roll onto its back and play dead, going so far as to emit a foul musk from its cloaca and let its tongue hang out of its mouth.

Seasonal behavior

Venom

Although this species is rear-fanged, it is often considered nonvenomous because it is not harmful to humans. The fangs receive the venom from the snake's Duvernoy's gland. Bitten humans who are allergic to saliva have been known to experience local swelling, but no human deaths have been documented.

Diet and Nutrition

Eastern hognose snakes are carnivores and feed extensively on amphibians. They have a particular fondness for toads but will also consume frogs, salamanders, small mammals, birds, and invertebrates.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
April-May
PREGNANCY DURATION
40 to 50 day
INCUBATION PERIOD
60 days
BABY CARRYING
4 to 69
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet
web.animal_clutch_size
8-40 eggs

Eastern hognose snakes are polygynandrous (promiscuous) meaning that both males and females have multiple partners. They mate in April and May. The females lay 8-40 eggs (average about 25) in June or early July in burrows in sandy soil, which they excavate or may also deposit eggs in rotting logs or under rocks or leaves. The incubation period lasts around 60 days. Hatchlings are independent at birth and don't need parental care. Young females usually become reproductively mature at 21 months of age while males reach maturity when they are 18-24 months old.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats to Eastern hognose snakes. However, locally these snakes do suffer from habitat loss and fragmentation, road mortality, environmental degradation, and intentional killing.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Eastern hognose snake is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Other common names of this species include hog-nosed snake, adder, bastard rattlesnake, black adder, black blowing viper, black hog-nosed snake, black viper snake, blauser, blower, blowing adder, blowing snake, blow(ing) viper, blow snake, buckwheat-nose snake, calico snake, checkered adder, checquered adder, chunk head, common hog-nosed snake, common spreading adder, eastern hognose snake, flat-head, flat-head(ed) adder, hay-nose snake, hissing adder, hissing snake, hog-nosed adder, hog-nosed rattler, hog-nose snake, hog-nosed viper, hissing viper, (mountain) moccasin, North American adder, North American hog-nosed snake, pilot, poison viper, puff(ing) adder, red snake, rock adder, rossel bastard, sand adder, sand viper, spotted (spreading) adder, spread nelly, spread-head moccasin, spread-head snake, spread-head viper, flat-head adder (spreading) viper.

References

1. Eastern Hognose Snake on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_hognose_snake
2. Eastern Hognose Snake on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/63820/12718733

More Fascinating Animals to Learn About