Eastern Hognose Snake

Eastern Hognose Snake

(Heterodon platirhinos)

Conservation status:

Least Concern

Noted declines are believed to be the result of habitat loss, road mortality, environmental degradation, and intentional killing.

Origin:

Eastern North America

Size:

Adult size averages at 28 inches in length.

Females are larger than males.

Lifespan:

About 12 years

Diet:

Carnivore

Feeds extensively on amphibians. It is resistant to the toxins that toads secrete.

The immunity is thought to come from enlarged adrenal glands which secrete large amounts of hormones to counteract the toad’s poisons.

Activity:

Nocturnal

Reproduction:

Breeding season is in April and May.

The female lays eggs in June or early July.

Average clutch size is 25 but they can lay 8-40 eggs.

The eggs hatch in about 60 days, from late July to September.

Extra Facts:

Has many different names. Some of them are spreading adder, adder, hog-nosed rattler, North American adder.

Their name comes from an upturned snout, which is used for digging.

They are a venomous species. Known as “rear fanged”. There is debate whether to consider them to be nonvenomous. Their venom is not harmful to humans. Humans that are allergic to the saliva have been known to experience local swelling, but there are no known deaths.

They have enlarged teeth at the rear of the upper jaw. These teeth are said to “pop” inflated toads like a balloon. Their venom is designed specifically to amphibians.

When threatened, the spread out their neck and mimic the appearance of a cobra.

Another defense is playing dead. They role over, emit a foul odor, and display an open mouth.