2017 nj - eastern hognose snake aka heterodon platirhinos
unofficially a new jersey species of special concern because habitat loss and population declines have been caused by illegal collection, road mortality and direct killing. in addition, this species feeds on toads and frogs, whose numbers are also in decline.
hobbies include digging up toads, playing dead, and long slithers on the beach💋
Land Steward Natasha Whetzel ran across this Eastern Hognose snake sunning itself at our Ponders Tract Preserve today. These snakes are harmless, unless you’re a toad- the snakes’ favorite meal. If threatened, the snake will puff out its head, like a cobra, and lunges toward the threat but it’s all for show. If that doesn’t work, it will roll over on its back, hang its tongue out of its open mouth, and play dead. There’s some great videos on YouTube showing these defense mechanisms if you want to see it in action. Ponders Tract has 9 miles of walking trails and is free to visit. Find directions at nature.org/Ponders. Photos (C) Natasha Whetzel / TNC. #nature#TNC#TNCinDE#PondersTract#easternhognose#snake
Yesterday was my last day at Chimney Rock State Park. I spent two years there learning, expanding my skill set, and making some incredible friendships. I’m amazed by how much I’ve grown since my first day there, and I am grateful for every experience and every day that pushed me out of my comfort zone, past what I thought my limits were.
This adorable little Eastern Hognose snake (Wilbur) was hanging out at my desk on one of my last days, and he reminded me that when I first started working at the park I was terrified of snakes and refused to get near them. Now, I find myself sad that I couldn’t pick this little guy up.
In my time at the park, I’ve overcome my fears and self-imposed limits in so many other ways, and I’ve found that the things that have scared me the most aren’t really that scary at all.
I will miss him, and I will miss the park, but I can’t wait to take the things I’ve learned (and my budding confidence) and apply them to my new career as a real estate agent.
Town and Mountain, here I come! 💪🏼🏘💕 .
Herp of the Week:
The eastern hognose (Heterodon platirhinos) is a snake found in many areas of North Carolina. They use their upturned nose to dig in soil for toads. They have earned the nickname “puff adder” because they can flatten the sides of their necks like a cobra. They are also known for playing dead.
Photos by: @tcrherps and @dan.guinto
Dying Snake?? That's what he wants you to think. Hognose snakes have an interesting last resort self defense behavior where they play dead. They will roll onto their backs, open their mouths, hang out their tongues, poop all over themselves, and spaz out. Their goal is to seem as unappealing as possible to a hungry predator. When they settle down, the result is a limp snake. The only thing is that they will turn themselves back over if you try to flip them right side up! See the second video for that behavior.
You asked — we delivered! The hognose care guide for ReptiFiles.com is well underway. 🎉🎉🎉 But no care guide is complete without pictures, and this time around we're trying something new: If you have a hognose pic that you're particularly proud of it, DM it to us or tag us in the photo's comment section. 👀 We're looking for cute pics, handling pics, feeding pics, shedding pics, enclosure pics, and *especially* herping pics. 👀 If your photo is selected, it will be published on ReptiFiles (credited where due, of course) for the whole world to see and admire. Who knows, you might get some new followers out of it too! 😏
I have already posted about this snake, but it wasn’t a target species when I did. One thing about the Eastern hognose is that it’s highly variable; they can be bright orange and red, like my last photo, or more brown like this one @michaeltaylorreptiles found. Here in Michigan, they tend to look like this. Many people also keep hognose’s as pets, and anyone who has seen a baby hognose would know why. Only 14 weeks left, see you on Christmas! #easternhognose#snake#hognose