Eastern Hognose Snake

Heterodon platirhinos

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family: Colubridae

Eastern hognose snake range map

Find out more about the eastern hognose snake from:


Publications -

Snakes and Lizards of Minnesota  This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. - 72 page identification and information booklet (10.2 MB)

Eastern Hognose Snake fact sheet  This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Minnesota Conservation Volunteer articles


Problem animals -

Living with snakes


Eastern Hognose SnakeThe eastern hognose snake is a medium sized snake that often startles people the first time they see one. However, this common snake is not venomous and eats mostly toads.


General description: The eastern hognose snake is heavy bodied.

Eastern Hognose SnakeColor: Each snake is a bit different in color, ranging from yellow, gray, brown, olive and black. Some are slate gray with dark blotches behind the eyes. Others have dark brown blotches on the back.

Sound: A loud hissing.


The eastern hognose snake mates in the spring. Females deposit 15 to 25 eggs in a depression under rocks or logs or in sandy soil. Eggs deposited in June or July hatch in August and September.


Toads are the primary food of the eastern hognose snake. This snake also feeds on frogs, salamanders and small mammals. It has large teeth in the back of its mouths to puncture inflated toads to make them easier to swallow.


Hawks and various mammals kill eastern hognose snakes.

Habitat and range

Eastern hognose snakes live on sandy soils near open woodlands or forest edge. This species is found in the eastern third of the Minnesota.

Population and management

Hognose numbers appear to be stable, though the DNR does not conduct official counts. Many of these harmless snakes are killed by people who believe they're poisonous. Eastern hognose snake numbers often decline in areas where there is much development such as highways and houses.

Eastern Hognose SnakeFun facts

When frightened, hognose snakes coil and flatten their heads and necks two to three times their normal width. Hissing loudly, they strike repeatedly. This is considered a bluff. If the feared predator does not retreat, the snake often rolls over on its back and plays dead.