Southern Hognose Snake
Heterodon simus

Photo by RW Van Devender

Description: The southern hognose snake has an upturned snout, like its larger cousin the eastern hognose snake. Southern hognose snakes are very stocky and have patterns of large, dark brown blotches on a tan or light gray background. Their bellies are whitish and usually mottled with gray or brown. The southern hognose has a dark stripe running between its eye and the corner of its mouth. Southern hognose snakes can be distinguished from eastern hognose snakes by the coloration under the tail, which is similar to that of their belly.

Feeding/Diet: Southern hognose snakes eat primarily toads and other amphibians.

Activity/Behavior: They are active primarily during the day.

Habitat/Range: These snakes are found in sandy fields and woods of the Coastal Plain and Sandhills region.

Reproduction: Southern hognose snakes lay 6–14 eggs during the summer, and the babies look like miniature versions of the adults.

Miscellaneous: When threatened, they usually behave similarly to eastern hognose snakes, but may be more reluctant to put on such a show. Their numbers have decreased significantly over most of this range, and they are protected in North Carolina.

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The shaded region represents the range of the southern hognose snake in North Carolina.

Upturned Snout.
Photo by David Scott

Playing dead.
Photo by RW Van Devender

Southern hognose snake eating a toad.
Photo by RW Van Devender

Southern hognose snake eating a toad.
Photo by RW Van Devender.

Photo by RW Van Devender

This website created by: J. Willson, Y. Kornilev, W. Anderson, G. Connette and E. Eskew.
For comments or questions contact M. Dorcas:
M. Dorcas homepage:
Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina 28035-1719.

Text and maps from: Dorcas, M. E. 2004. A Guide to the Snakes of North Carolina. Davidson College - Herpetology Laboratory, Davidson, NC. – Copyright by Michael E. Dorcas.

Partial Funding for this website provided by a Associate Colleges of the South, National Science Foundation, and Duke Energy.