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Hognose Snakes (sp Heterodon). The
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This is a medium to large Iowa snake that may be 24 to 46 inches long and has a very stout body. It is not considered venomous. They are rather variable in pattern and color; two phases may be found: spotted and solid.
Eastern Hognose Snakes grow to nearly four feet long. They have thick bodies, a wide neck, and a slightly upturned snout.
The color of this snake can vary with yellow, tan, brown, gray, or reddish color. They also have dark blotches on their backs. Hognose snakes can even be all black.
These snakes live in woods or fields.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Heterodon simus
DESCRIPTION: A short, stout bodied, nonpoisonous snake. Adult lengths are typically 14 to 21 inches. The maximum recorded length is 24 inches. The most distinguishing feature is its sharply upturned and pointed snout. Adults are yellowish gray or light brown in color, often with orange-red tinges on the back. Color patterns on the body consist of a row of large squarish, dark blotches down the back alternating with smaller blotches on the sides.
ENDANGERED. It is illegal to kill or collect this species by law in Iowa. Western hognose snakes need a special habitat to survive in Iowa. Unfortunately, most of that habitat is now gone. We really need records from the western part of Iowa! Please report sightings to us or the DNR.
Although Western Hognose snakes are rear-fanged venomous, this is nothing to worry about. Firstly, the enlarged teeth are located so posteriorly in the jaw that you'd just about have to have your finger down the snake's throat to be punctured. Secondly, the salivary secretions of this snake are not very potent as far as humans are concerned. The primary function of the toxic secretions is to subdue toads as they are being swallowed and they are rather ineffective on anything much larger. In fact, it is believed that the primary function of the enlarged teeth is really to puncture and deflate toads.
This section covers the basics of care for the various species of Hognosed snakes. The species of Heterodon, Lystrophis and Leioheterodon each have different requirements to keep them healthy in captivity and ensure their long-term survival.
The western hognose snake, Heterodon nasicus nasicus, is a small Colubrid snake from North America. Heterodon means variable teeth while nasicus means nasal or nose. Thus we have a snake that is rear fanged with a funny (upturned) nose or snout.
Description of temperament:
A wild caught specimen may flatten its head and neck, hiss, and even strike but rarely, if ever, bites. If agitated to an extreme, the animal may even "play 'possum" by rolling over and playing dead. Captive hatched babies will also display some of these behaviors but both wild caught and captive bred usually lose their willingness to display these behaviors. Since these animals are protected by state laws in some of their range, it is best to try to obtain a captive bred individual
My name is Jim McDonald, I live in Southern California and have been breeding many kinds of reptiles since the mid 80's. I am not in this for the money, I actually enjoy it. This makes it easy to sell the highest quality reptiles at the best price possible. I am not a broker, therefore all of the reptiles I sell are produced by me.
I am Richard Evans of West Texas Reptiles.
A few years ago I decided to work exclusively with hognose snakes. I am the originator of the albino, pastel pink albino, and the hypomelanistic hognose snakes. My bloodlines are very genetically diverse with new bloodlines being constantly added
This is the very quick summary of the results of a western hognose snake bite. Better details are being written. The snake is an apprx. 18 inch male Heterodon nasicus nasicus. The bite was a food response, not aggression. This snake has been a gentle captive for 8 years and has never attempted to bite.
We have many other species documented in
similar fashion which are listed on our home page, in the 8. Links - Species Specificsection.