This small Eastern Hog-nosed Snake (around 10 inches) was basking in an old field on a sunny, cool day after a couple days of storms and rain. They spend most of their time under ground or in leaf litter (using their unique snout to burrow), so the rains probably flushed him out. This species is well-known for it's defensive tactic of rolling on it's back and playing dead when faced with a perceived threat, which this individual displayed. If rolled over to an upright position by a predator or human during this "show", the snake will continue to flip over on to it's back, often with it's mouth open and tongue hanging out in a limp fashion. If this tactic doesn't work, Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes will puff up with air, breathe loudly or hiss, and repeatedly strike at it's attacker. This can be intimidating but the behavior is almost always a bluff and these snakes rarely deliver a bite; they use their upturned snout to bump the target instead. This species is often mistaken as the venomous Copperhead. Although not venomous, studies are currently being conducted to find out the potential toxicity of this species saliva. Reports have suggested that the snakes enlarged rear teeth may be used to deliver high concentrations of toxin-enhanced saliva into puncture wounds, which may effect prey items and has been noted to cause pain and swelling in some humans.
Old field near pond.
One of my favorite native snake species, and the first one I've seen within the last 6 years.
Lat: 38.86, Long: -75.39
Spotted on Jun 19, 2013
Submitted on Jun 19, 2013
and 1 other person favorited this spotting