ANIMAL: Western Hognose Snake Heterodon nasicus Type of Animal: Colubrid Habitat: Prairies, floodplains, scrub, grasslands, semi-desert, semiagricultural areas, savanna, plains, coastal areas, rocky areas, sand dunes, sandy hills, sandy areas, sandy fine loam Location(s): Canada in SW Manitoba/S Saskatchewan/SE Alberta, US in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Dakotas, New Mexico, SE Arizona, E Colorado (w/ disjunct pop in NW part), E Wyoming (disjunct pop in C part), CN & E Montana, parts of Minnesota, parts of Iowa, NW & SE Missouri, W tip of Kentucky, parts of W Illinois, parts of W Wisconsin, & into N Mexico Appearance: Stout body, hoglike nose, rattlesnake like pattern, tan, brown, gray, or olive ground color w/ darker square blotches, glossy black scales on belly interspersed w/ white, yellow, or orange, female has shorter tail than male but longer & larger Food/Diet: Rodents, lizards, amphibians, eggs, carrion, turtles, young tortoises, insects Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding from zoos & breeders Lifestyle: Solitary Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young-Snakelet Group-Solitary Weight: Male- 2.46 oz Female- 8.8 oz Young- 1.5 oz Gestation: 2 months Life Span: 15 years Body Length: Male- 1.16-1.83 ft Female- 1.67-2.75 ft Young- 0.9 ft Main predators are bobcats, coyotes, owls, hawks, falcons, foxes, corvids, raccoons, cats, dogs, larger snakes, skunks, otters, pigs, & roadrunners. When provoked, they’ll spread jaws/neck like cobra & puff up body, leading to them sometimes being called “puff adders” (Puff adders are venomous species from Africa). Then it hisses & mock strikes w/ closed mouth. If this doesn’t work, they’ll play dead & may even throw up last meal. Some dispute as to whether these snakes should be classified as venomous or not. Most sources say nonvenomous but have slightly toxic saliva, which can cause swelling/pain/discomfort. Almost all bites result of confusion of fingers for food. They hibernate from September through March or April. Their saliva helps subdue prey. Females lay 4-23 eggs. Sexually mature at 2 years old. Fun Fact(s): Sometimes killed due to mistaken identity for rattlesnakes. Besides puff adder, they’re also called blowing adder, blowing viper, bluffer, faux viper (b/c they’re not actual vipers), & plains hognose snake. They can be good pets due to docile temperament.
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