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

Western Hognose Snake
Heterodon nasicus


  • Size:   Length in Kansas up to 36 inches.

Kansas range map for the Western Hognose Snake

Range:   Found from the Flint Hills west to the Colorado border; an isolated population in the Chautauqua Hills of Chautauqua, Elk and Greenwood counties.
  • Description:   Harmless. Rough scales. A serpent with a sharply up-turned snout and a jet black belly edged with bright yellow; underside of tail jet black edged with yellow. Body covered with 23-50 dark brown blotches down back; rows of smaller spots on the sides alternating with those on back. Young are miniature adults.
  • Habits:   Prefers grassland or sand prairie; often found crossing a road. Breeding occurs in May; an average of 9 eggs per clutch are laid in July. Eats anything it can swallow from toads to rodents. Never bites. When first encountered, spreads hood, hisses, lunges at intruder and eventually “plays dead.”

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and what to do if you have been bitten by one.

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Snake's Burrow
Text: Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
Photos: Suzanne L. Collins & Bob Gress
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason