EASTERN HOGNOSE SNAKE

Eastern Hognose Snake
Photo by Suzanne L. Collins
Used by permission

Eastern Hognose Snake
Heterodon platirhinos

SPECIES IN
NEED OF CONSERVATION

  • Size:   Length in Kansas up to 43 1/8 inches.

Kansas range map for the Eastern Hognose Snake

Range:   Occurs throughout eastern three-quarters of Kansas, but undocumented from many areas in the eastern third. Invades the High Plains only along the aquatic corridors of the Arkansas and Cimarron river valleys.
  • Description:   Harmless. Sharply upturned snout; rough scales; underside of tail much lighter in color than belly. Highly variable in color. Back, head and tail may be yellow, brown, reddish, olive or gray, with 20–30 dark brown or black blotches on back and similarly colored bands on tail. Sides of the body with 2–3 series of small, dark spots alternating with the blotches on the back. Belly may be yellowish, gray, olive or reddish; becomes darker toward the rear. Young same as adults.
  • Habits:   Lives in forested areas of eastern Kansas west to open prairies along the Colorado border. Prefers sandy stretches along valleys of major rivers. Active from late April to October. Mating occurs during April and May; a single clutch of 4-61 eggs is laid; eggs are deposited in late June or July; incubation requires 50–65 days. Never bites. Feeds primarily on toads. When first encountered, spreads hood, hisses, lunges at intruder and eventually “plays dead.”

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Text: Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
Photos: Suzanne L. Collins & Bob Gress
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason