Heterodon nasicus
Plains Hog-nosed Snake

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Other Names: Hognose, Western Hognose, Puff Adder, Blow Snake
Description: Adults reach 18-24" with the longest being 35.5". Scales are keeled. Dark black belly where speckling of orange, white or yellow may or may not be present. Ground color is pale brown to brownish gray or reddish brown. Patterned with a row of sharply contrasting dark blotches ranging from grayish brown or olive to deep cinnamon or chocolate brown.
Similar Species: Hooknoses have smooth scales and a white venter. Eastern Hognoses have a light venter which may have dark markings, although the tail is always light colored. Mexican Hognose has only 2-6 small azygous scales behind rostral scale.
Venom: Rear-fanged, not considered dangerous to humans. Bite can cause local swelling in humans.
Habitat: Sandy and gravelly prairies, most frequently found in the vicinity of floodplains, streams and arroyos.
Behavior: Crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk. Nature's actors, these snakes will go through a whole routine if threatened. They will spread their necks and hiss. Then they will strike to the side. Then they will flop over and play dead. They will lie there with their tongue hanging out and will musk and vomit. If turned over, they will immediately turn back over. Uses up-turned nose to dig up toads and eggs.
Hibernation: Will overwinter underground
Reproduction: Clutch of 4-25 eggs laid in June-August
Diet: Toads, frogs, salamanders, lizards, snakes, turtles, birds, small mammals and bird and reptile eggs.