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Sometimes called "puff adders," eastern hognose snakes are thick-bodied snakes that reach about 46 in (115 cm) long. These snakes are easily distinguished by their upturned snouts, but they are variable in color. The eastern hognose has a background color that can be yellow, gray, brown, green or black, often patterned with large, rectangular spots down the middle of the back that may resemble eyespots. The scales of this snake are keeled and the underside of the tail is usually lighter than the rest of the venter. The females of this species have a tail that has a fine taper to the end of the tail, while the males have a slight bulge near the cloaca and the tail then tapers off drastically. When confronted, the hognose snake will suck in air; spread the skin around its head and neck (like a cobra), hiss, and lunge pretending to strike. Eventually, they will even play dead, rolling on their back and opening their mouth. Often, these displays alone are enough to identify this species. Despite this fairly convincing show, hognose snakes almost never bite.
Found on a sandy road through mostly Pine/Hardwood forest near the Savannah River.
In the attached video the hognose does his threat display pretending to be bigger and badder than he actually is. He kept up the display even after finding cover (we were standing in place and allowing him to escape).
Lat: 32.77, Long: -81.63
Spotted on Nov 17, 2013
Submitted on Dec 17, 2013