Everything You Need to Know About Hognose Snake Care

November 26th, 2017 by

Learning about hognose snake care will make you want to own one of these fun and unique reptiles.

To get started, there are three different species of hognose snakes:

The Southern hognose snake: always appears either in a reddish, tan, or gray color with dark brown splotches. 

The Eastern hognose snake: prefers woodlands with sandy soil, coastal areas, and farmlands.

The Western hognose snake: the most common kept for captivity, has three subspecies: plains, dusty, and Mexican.

The usual lifespan ranges from 18 to 20 years with appropriate hognose snake care. They’re not large either, only growing to about 14-40 inches depending on the species and sex. Their usual disposition tends to be on the milder side so it’s rare for a hognose to bite their owners. These snakes are known as rear-fanged snakes since they have a set of fangs in the back of their jaws. They’re also able to flatten their neck and raise up like a cobra to intimidate and ward of predators; however, they’re only venomous to toads and frogs.

A peculiar thing about the hognose snake is their ability to deter predators by playing dead. Their go-to methods include their cobra-imitation technique and, if that doesn’t work, playing dead.

Hognose Snake Care Basics

A hognose snake makes a fascinating pet but they need to be cared for properly to live a long, healthy life. Part of learning the basics of hognose snake care is making sure your snake has the proper lighting and heating and a tank that’s decent sized. They don’t grow too big so they don’t require such a large tank. When it comes to temperature you want to keep one side of the tank somewhere between 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit the other side of it a bit cooler but not below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure the habitat has a few inches of bedding made from soil, sand, or a mixture of both so that the snake can burrow. Their snouts make the perfect shovels for helping them escape predators and extreme climate as well as lift up leaf liter and twigs in search of food.

Feeding Your Hognose Snake

Hognose snakes like most other snakes are carnivorous and feed mainly off of toads, but mice are a good substitute. If your snake doesn’t take to the mouse at first, you can trick the snake into eating it by using a scenting method. Simply rub the mouse against a toad to get the scent of the toad onto the mouse. With the western hognose, you typically won’t have this issue. If you’re starting with a hatchling, you can start it out with pinkies and eventually graduate to mice.

Keeping a consistent feeding schedule is an important part of hognose snake care and is just as important as its habitat.

Handling Your Hognose Snake

A hognose snake can sense when you’re uncomfortable, nervous, or scared. If the snake starts to hiss as you’re reaching in the tank, its usually alright to reach in with confidence and pick it up. It’s best to handle your hognose regularly- at least once a week- so that over time it becomes calmer and docile. Just don’t handle it within 48 hours after a meal or while it’s in the middle of a shed cycle.

A hognose can make a great pet for anyone. With the proper care, feeding, and handling, your snake will be slithering and burrowing for years to come. Next time you see this snake for sale, consider these hognose snake care tips and give your pet a healthy and happy life.

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The amazing hognose snake: Actor, Illusionist, Killer!

October 28th, 2015 by

It’s hard to decide what the most interesting thing about these incredible animals is. Is it their amazing ability to play dead? Is it their impressive number of color and pattern morphs or is it the fact that at least one person has succumbed to their toad-specific venom? The diminutive Hognose Snake is found in North America, Central America, South America and Madagascar. There are three Genera that make up the small group of snakes known for their up-turned rostral scale used in the act of rooting in dirt and leaf litter that gives these animals their common name of hognose.

Finding the Right Hognose Snake for Sale

The morph aspect of the animals found in the pet trade is isolated to the Western Hognose Snake Heterodon nasicus. This is due to their affinity for a rodent based diet and the growing number of brightly colored mutations in this Genus. Most people looking to find a hognose snake for sale will come across the byproduct of the country’s top breeders as the true collector snakes can fetch upwards of $5000. There has also been a recent influx of a few hognose morphs from European breeders. I personally had the great experience of finding three gravid female Eastern Hognose snakes in my backyard but after hatching the beautifully colored black and gold babies I decided that the best future for them was out in the woods around my property.

The Albino Western Hognose and Morphs

As more and more keepers find the joy of raising and breeding hognose snakes it becomes evident that the beauty, ferocious attitude and conniving ability to play dead makes these little guys one of the most interesting snakes out there. There are few snakes as beautiful as the anaconda phase or red phase albino western hognose snakes. Although there has been a case of a biologist dying from the rear fanged hognose snake it has been explained as an allergic reaction that was ignored as the bitten scientist sat and recorded his symptoms instead of getting medical attention. At xyzReptiles we always recommend caution when handling any snake especially if you are considering a hognose as your next purchase. Please take a moment to look through our Hognose Snake category and see if there’s anything there that catches your interest.