Western Hognose (c.b. babies)
Western Hognose Snake (Heterodon nasicus)
Western Hognose snakes are a relatively calm species that flatten out their heads and may strike when agitated, but rarely bite. They are small snakes reaching a length of 16-25 inches. They can be found in parts of Canada, Arizona, Texas, and into northern Mexico. They may also be found in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
Because of their size they can be kept in a relatively small enclosure. 10 gallon covered tanks hold a single Hognose well. You must provide a substrate because they like to burrow, but never use a substrate that can cause impaction. Cypress mulch and aspen bedding work well with this species. A hide box is necessary for most snakes and the Hognose is no exception. Daytime temperatures should range from 75-85 degrees and nighttime temperatures can drop by up to 10 degrees. Heating can be provided through heat lamps (on the outside of the habitat) or under the tank heaters. Heat rocks are not recommended. You can decorate the cage with rocks, wood, and other items for the snake to climb on.
Hognose snakes will eat a variety of foods ranging from insects to reptile eggs. Captive born Hognose snakes will readily eat pre-killed mice, but wild caught Hognose require patience while teaching them to eat pre-killed food. They will also eat toads, frogs, and lizards in the wild. Always make sure that they have a clean water dish in their habitat.
The Western Hognose snake mimics behaviors similar to those of rattlesnakes to frighten away potential threats. It will flatten out and puff up its hood and hiss, but it is harmless. As with any animal it will take time to get to know its habitat and feel safe when handled so allow it time to adjust. After the snake has acclimatized it will stop exhibiting the aforementioned behaviors and be a gentle pet.