These beautiful snakes average 71 cm (28 inches) in length. Males tend to average slightly smaller. Both genders have an upturned nose and tend to have a wide range in color and patterning. Colors can include brown, tan, gray, and nearly black. Patterns can be plain, with few markings or can be heavily patterned. The belly tends to be lighter in color and can be gray, yellow or whitish.
They tend to be found near wetlands and in sandy soils, which offer easy digging.
These snakes are great bluffers. When approached they may flee or if cornered without cover, as this one, they tend to flatten a neck hood--not unlike a cobra--and hiss loudly. They may also strike but even if contact is made the mouth is almost always closed. They are considered non-venomous, but people that have been bitten by a hog-nosed seem to react more strongly than what would be suggested by a simple transfer of saliva and bacteria. They are rear-fanged snakes and tend to feed on aphibians and other easily caught prey. Interestingly, they will eat toads and seem to have protection against their noxious secretions. This one struck at me several times while I was taking its photo, but it deigned to make contact even though he probably could have reached me. After taking a few photos, I then ushered it off the road and away from traffic. Very cool snake.
Lat: 45.83, Long: -92.65
Spotted on Jun 8, 2005
Submitted on Jan 30, 2012
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