Eastern Hog-nose Snake

(Heterodon platyrhinos)

Reptile

Animal Info

There are two eastern hog-nose snakes at the Zoo, on exhibit in the ECO Center. Hog-nosed snakes have a number of adaptations for preying upon toads, includng wide bodies, large rear fangs to assist in swallowing inflated toads and special hormones to neutralize the toads’ toxicity. Their distinctive snout helps them to move through leaves and dig into topsoil in search of shelter or toads.

Status in the Wild

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least Concern

Habitat

Terrestrial zones in dry, temperate forests, prairies and scrublands throughout Central and Eastern United States and Southern Canada, between the Rocky Mountains and Southern New England.

Diet

Carnivorous. Eats primarily toads, but also frogs, salamanders, small mammals, birds and occasionally insects.

Did you know?

When threatened, the hog-nosed snake will flatten its neck and hiss or will strike by head-butting.

They may also play dead and emit a foul odor to defend themselves from harm.

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