Hognose Snakes

Snakes -> Hognose Snakes

The hognose snake, Heterodon nasicus, as the name suggests has a short, upturned appearance to the snout, as a result of a specially shaped scale present there.

This scale gives it a decidedly "piggy-like" quality and some herpetologists have theorised that this appareance may help with burrowing in the wild.

Hognose snakes are short and stout, growing to little more than 60cm at adulthood and so are easy to accommodate in captivity with a cage measuring 45 - 60cm long being perfectly sufficient for a single specimen.

This should be heated to around 28'C at the hotspot.

Kept in standard fashion with a hide, decent-szied water bowl and standard substrate - such as newspaper - they will be very happy indeed and are generally found to be surprisingly undemanding captives.

A much-discussed topic surrounding hognose snakes is that of whether or not they are venomous.

The real fact is that whilst they do possess mild venom, the fangs through which this venom is given are housed right at the back of the hognose snake's mouth and so are out of harms reach.

To my knowledge no harm has ever come to a keeper of these snakes, even if a specimen has attempted to bite it's keeper, and so they can be said to be perfectly safe for amateur snake keepers to own.

Also remember that licenses are often required for species that can do real harm to humans (such as cobras and puff adders) and a license is generally not required for this species, though it is your responsibility to check up that this is so in your own locality.

In short, an unusual, attractive and easy snake to care for in captivity - highly recommended.