WESTERN HOGNOSE SNAKE
Photo © by Suzanne L. Collins
Used by permission
NEED OF CONSERVATION
Length in Kansas up to 36 inches.
Found from the Flint Hills west to the Colorado border; an isolated population in
the Chautauqua Hills of Chautauqua, Elk and Greenwood counties.
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.
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.
Click here for
information on precautions against being bitten by snakes
and what to do if you have been bitten by one.
Text: Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
Photos: Suzanne L. Collins & Bob Gress
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason