Eastern Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon platirhinos)
Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes are characterized by an upturned snout scale that is reminiscent of a “hog’s nose.”Their dorsal color can be black, gray, yellow, dark green and even red; many individuals often have large rectangular spots running down their back.Their belly is also variable in color, ranging from pale gray to almost black. Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes are quite stocky, have keeled scales and a divided anal plate.
Adult Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes may reach 3 feet in total length.
Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes are found throughout Kentucky in a variety of habitats, including old fields, forests, and around wetlands. They have a particular affinity for sandy areas.
Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes are active during daylight hours and prey almost exclusively on amphibians. They reach sexual maturity at approximately 2 years of age. Females lay clutches of 15-25 eggs in the late spring in shallow depressions underneath boulders or woody debris.
Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes rarely bite, but when provoked puff out their throat and hiss. If this threat display does not deter their enemy, they often regurgitate their recent meal, musk and defecate, and even pretend to be dead! Eastern Hognose Snakes have enlarged teeth in the rear of their mouth, which they use to puncture their amphibian prey. They are considered nonvenomous.