Eastern Hognosed Snake
Heterodon platyrhinos

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Squamata
SUBORDER: Serpentes
FAMILY: Colubridae

SIZE:
Up to 45 inches in length

RANGE:
Eastern North America; statewide in Louisiana

HABITAT:
Most abundant in dry uplands

DIET:
Wild - Toads mainly; frogs and salamander
Zoo - Toads and frogs

DESCRIPTION:
Medium sized to moderately long, heavy bodies; upturned snout; occasionally uniformly black but more often dark spots on a lighter color; anal plate divided.

ADAPTATIONS:

  • Pointed, upturned snout useful for digging and burrowing; variable colorations make for excellent camouflage; employs "playing dead" method of avoiding enemies; toxic saliva used to sudue prey.
  • Mildly venomous
  • Often called "spreading adder" or "puff adder" because of its ability to flatten neck and spread an almost cobra-like hood when confronted. Rarely bites humans, but fatalities have occured due to allergic reaction to the toxic saliva.

YOUNG:
9 - 25 eggs laid from June to October. Young are usually brown and orange when hatched and darken as they get older.

STATUS:
Not threatened; vulnerable due to habitat loss

REFERENCES:
"The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana," Harold A. Dundee and Douglas A. Rossman
"Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia," Vol. 6 Reptiles, Dr. Bernhard Grzimek