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Western Hognose Snake Heterodon nasicus


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Western Hognose Snake
credit: Dawson

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Family: Colubridae, Colubrid Snakes view all from this family

Description Light sandy brown in color, with darker brown or gray blotching.Snout sharply upturned, broad neck and thickset body. 2-3 rows of spots on side. Keeled scales, 23 rows. Divided anal plate.

Dimensions 40.6-89.5cm. (16-35 1/4")

Subspecies Plains - 35 blotches on midline on males, 40+ on females. Alberta to Manitoba, Canada through to Oklahoma, Texas panhandle and New Mexico.
Dusty - 32 blotches on midline on males, 37 on females. Kansas to Texas.
Mexican - 6 scales between prefrontal scales. S. Texas, New Mexico and Arizona into Mexico.

Breeding Breeds March-May. 4-23 eggs, 32mm (1/2") long with thin shells, laid June-August in sandy soil. Incubated for 7-9 weeks, hatchlings 15-19cm (6-7 1/2") long. Mature at 2 years.

Habitat River floodplains, prairies and scrubland.

Range N. Alberta and sw. Manitoba in Canada, south to se. Arizona and Texas into n. Mexico.

Discussion Active late afternoons. Hides under loose soil to avoid hot or cold temperatures. Diet of toads, lizards, snakes, reptile eggs, rodents and birds. Quite docile, often kept as a pet.