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Dawson at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Common Name: Eastern Hog-Nosed Snake
Scientific Name: Heterodon platirhinos
Characteristics: A usually very docile snake with an upturned snout. When it percieves a threat it flatens it's head and strike with it's mouth closed if the threat remains despite it's attempts to scare it away the snake plays dead and rolls over. When playing dead this snake will immediately roll back over if flipped right side up and will do so repeatedly.
Habitat: They occur throughout WV in woodlands, along sandy edges of rivers and streams and in cultivated fields.
Size: Often times they reach more than 40 inches.
Indentifying Marks: Hog-nosed Snakes may be spotted with squarish blotches of bluish black on a tan background while some specimens are completely black.
Diet: Mainly consists of toads.
Breeding: Approximately 20-30 white eggs are deposited in sandy loose soil.
Myths and Lore:
Venom Effects: There is some debate as to whether this snake has venom or toxic saliva. Strikes are a very rare occurence and often are a case of mistaken identity. Effects range from none at all to swelling, itching, slight burning, and blisters sometimes lasting up to 72 hours while some unsubstantiated reports even go as far as to say liver failure I believe these to be untrue as I have yet to find hard evidence.
Pet Potential: Despite being mildly venomous this snake has found a huge following among pet owners as it's actions make it unique.
Additional Info: The defensive actions of this snake are responsible for its being feared by many people. Hissing, flaring its head and neck, and feigned strikes (with the mouth closed) have led to such names as blowing viper,spreading adder and puff adder.





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