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Western Hog-nosed Snake
Heterodon nasicus






This snake's most obvious feature is its pointed, upturned snout. It has a tan to brown body with dark blotches along its sides and back. The belly and underside of the tail are dark, and the anal plate is divided.

Adults 16 - 30 inches (41 - 76 cm)

Toads, birds, rodents, snakes, and lizards

Mates in early spring and lays 4 - 20 eggs in mid-summer. Hatchlings emerge two months later and are 6 - 7 inches (15 - 19 cm) long.

Prairies, floodplains, and areas heavy with sand and gravel

Other Information: 
This is the most dramatic of Oklahoma's snakes. Its defense lies not with biting, but rather with extreme bluffing. When molested it will spread out its neck and hiss. If this does not deter the predator, it will feign death. This includes rolling over on its back, going limp, and hanging its tongue out of its mouth. If righted, it will simply roll over on its back again and continue to play dead.

Commonly called a "spreading adder," the hog-nosed snake is not related to the true adders found on other continents, all of which are classified as venomous.

Hog-nosed snakes, while technically rear-fanged, do not have venom that's harmful to humans.  Their saliva has been found to have some toxic properties, but only affects their prey, which is typically toads and frogs.  Humans occasionally get bitten by hog-nosed snakes, and this generally occurs while feeding captive snakes.  Symptoms often include skin irritation and some swelling.  More information about this topic can be found at hognose.com.


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