Snakes

Plains Hog-nosed Snake (Formerly Western Hognose Snake)

Plains Hog-nosed Snake (Formerly Western Hognose Snake)

Other Names: Plains Hognose Snake

Scientific Name: Heterodon nasicus

Family: Xenodontidae

Nonvenomous

 

Description & Size

  • Legless
  • No eyelids
  • Lacks external ears
  • Scales on the back have a prominent ridge in the middle (strongly keeled)
  • Divided anal scale
  • Upturned nose
  • Total length:  38.0-100.6 cm (15.0-39.6 in)
  • Back color:  light brown to tan
  • Belly color:  usually black
  • May have multiple dark blotches up and down the back

Habitat

  • Dry short or mixed-grass prairie
  • Sandy, loose soil
  • Next to a body of water

Diet

  • Toads and frogs
  • Lizards
  • Small mammals
  • Reptile and bird eggs and hatchlings

Life History

  • Diurnal, rarely nocturnal
  • Active season:  April – October
  • Breeding season:  Late spring – early summer
  • Lays eggs
  • 4-25 eggs per female

Range

Plains Hog-nosed Snake (Formerly Western Hognose Snake) Range

Additional Information

Western Hognose snake playing dead.
The Western Hognose snake plays dead for protection.