Eastern Hognose Snake -Heterodon platirhinos
The eastern hognose snake is about 20-30 inches long. It has a thick body and a broad triangle-shaped head. It gets its name from its upturned snout. It uses it snout to dig in the soil and leaf litter. It can be yellow, brown, gray, black, olive, or even orange. It often has large rectangle-shaped spots and blotches down its back and sides, but it can be a solid black or gray in color. It usually has a gray, cream, or yellow belly and the underside of its tail is lighter than its belly. It has large rear fangs on the back of its upper jaw that produce a mild toxin that is not harmful to humans. Females are larger than males.
The eastern hognose snake is found in the eastern half of the United States from central New England to Florida. It is also found in southern Canada. The eastern hognose snake is found in southern New Hampshire.
The eastern hognose snake is found in woodlands with sandy soil, fields, farmland, and coastal areas. It is active during the day.
The eastern hognose snake's favorite prey is toads, but it also preys on frogs, salamanders, small mammals, birds, and invertebrates. The eastern hognose snake uses its nose to root around for toads in their burrows. When a toad is disturbed by a hognose snake, it will often puff itself up like a balloon. The eastern hognose will uses his long rear fangs to pop the toad so it can swallow it.
Eastern hognose snakes first mate when they are around two years old. They mate in the spring. The female lays 15-25 eggs in a depression in sandy soil or under a rock or log. The eggs incubate in 1-2 months. In the winter, eastern hognose snakes will dig a burrow to hibernate in or use an abandoned fox, skunk, or woodchuck den. Predators of the eastern hognose snake include owls, hawks, skunks, opossums, and other snakes,
The hognose snake is sometimes called the puff adder. When it is threatened, it raises its head and puffs out and flattens the skin around its neck - like a cobra. It hisses loudly, and lunges towards the threat. It is all a show! It lunges with its mouth closed! If that doesn't work, it rolls over onto its back, open its mouth, hangs it tongue out of the side of its mouth, and plays dead. It may play dead for several minutes before carefully turning over and looking around to see if it is safe. If it is rolled back onto its belly when it is playing dead, it will roll back onto its back!