Eastern Hog-nosed Snake

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What does the eastern hog-nosed snake look like?

The eastern hog-nosed snake has a thick body compared to other snakes that inhabit Montgomery County. The reason they are called hog-nose snake is because their snout is pointed and turned upward. This species maximum length is about 46 inches. The color on the back of the adults varies quite dramatically from mostly yellow, tan, olive, brown, gray, orange, or reddish-brown with dark brown or black shaped blotches on the back with smaller blotches on the sides. The belly can be light gray, yellowish, or pinkish and may have a grayish or greenish color. The belly of the tail is usually lighter than the rest of the belly.

Where is the eastern hog-nosed snake found in Montgomery County?

Snake control professionals in Montgomery County usually remove a dozen or so eastern hog-nosed snakes each summer from residential properties. This snake is found in the backyards of Kensington, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, North Potomac and Rockville. Even thou this snake is often caught and removed from backyards it’s not common to have inside of a home. The eastern hog-nosed snake is also found in woodlands north of Clarksburg, the fields and farmland west of Germantown, and the shoreline of the Potomac River.

What animals pray of the eastern hog-nosed snake?

The eastern hog-nosed snake is on the menu of many of Montgomery County’s predators such as skunks, fox, large birds, birds of prey, raccoons, and weasels. Juveniles may be eaten by bullfrogs and other snakes.

Is the eastern hog-nosed snake venomous?

YES and NO!!! In the top rear of the eastern hog-nosed snakes mouth is two long fangs that are slightly curved. To paralyze their prey the eastern hog-nosed snake will puncture these two fangs into the prey and inject venom. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has classified the eastern hog-nosed snake as non-venomous because the venom is so mild and the fangs are not typically able to puncture a human or larger animal.

What does the eastern hog-nosed snake eat?

The eastern hog-nosed snake is immune to the toxin toads secrete which is why they predominately feed on toads. If toads puff up while the eastern hog-nosed snake is trying to eat them then the eastern hog-nosed snake will use its two long rear fangs to pop or deflate the toad. They will also feed on frogs, salamanders, small rodents, baby birds, and some invertebrates.

What are the habits of the eastern hog-nosed snake?

The eastern hog-nosed snake is most active during the day. When threatened by predators this species will raise its head, puff out then flatten to make its self look bigger. While in this state they will hiss loudly and lunge toward the threat. They will also roll over on their back and stick their tong out the side of their mouth to play dead because many predators will not feed on a snake that is already dead.

What are the hibernation habits of the eastern hog-nosed snake?

The eastern hog-nosed snake hibernates from October to April. They will hibernate in an abandoned burrow made by groundhogs, skunks or fox. They will also hibernate in tree stumps, logs and other deep crevices that will offer adequate protection from the cold winter temperatures.

What are the reproduction habits of the eastern hog-nosed snake?

The eastern hog-nosed snake mates in April when they come out of hibernation. The female will lie between 15 and 25 eggs in a tree stump or log or under rocks sometime in June. The eggs will hatch sometime in August.

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