STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern
RANGE: North America
PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS
Relatively small snakes, they rarely exceed a length of 15 to 20 inches. They have different variations of browns and yellows with an elongated, spotted pattern. They get their name from a modified nose scale that is turned up, giving them a “hog like” appearance. They use this as a tiny shovel, and they are excellent burrowers. They have also adapted special saliva that breaks down the toxins typically found on frogs and toads. This saliva, while non-toxic to humans, can cause irritation, swelling, and itching in some cases. No serious reaction has been reported.
LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION
They are a diurnal snake and are typically docile. However, when threatened, they will flatten their neck (much like a cobra), hiss, and make mock strikes. This snake is probably best known for the fact that it will play dead when feeling extremely threatened. This leads to quite a lot of people harassing these animals just to witness this behavior. It is in fact highly stressful for the animal and not recommended.
The western hognose snake is found from southern Canada throughout the United States to northern Mexico.
They prefer sandy, gravelly, and loose soils and forest litter that are easier to dig into.
These snakes feed primarily on amphibians and small lizards. They will eat small rodents on occasion, but their small size limits their mammalian options.