Western Hognose Snake


Lifespan: Up to 14 years

Wild Diet: Small rodents, birds, toads, lizards, snakes and reptile eggs.

Zoo Diet: Mice

Predators: Hawks, raccoons, eastern spotted skunks, domestic cats, domestic dogs, and humans


IUCN Status: Least Concern

Habitat/Range: Sandy prairie, scrubland and river floodplains of western North America from Northwest Manitoba down into Mexico.

Characteristics: Grows up to 3 feet in length. Western hognose snakes have a sharply upturned and pointed snout. It has a stout body with a broad neck. The snake is tan, brown, gray or yellowish gray with distinct or somewhat faded blotches down its back and 2 or 3 rows of side spots. The belly and underside of tail are distinctly patterned with large black blotches. Its scales are keeled and its anal plate is divided.

Behavior: When threatened, this snake will flatten its head, hiss and, if it can, retreat from danger. The eastern subspecies will act out an elaborate "death scene," then slither away when the coast is clear.

Reproduction: Typically mates March to May. The female lays 4 - 24 elongate, thin-shelled eggs, 1.5" long in soft and sandy soil. The young hatch in 7-9 weeks and are 6 to 8 inches long. They reach maturity in 2 years.

Conservation: These species has a stable population in the wild and is listed as Least Concern. There are large populations with a wide distrubution.