Further Study:

Order the new Venomous Snakes of Texas Poster

image of Venomous Snakes of Texas poster

Snakebit - Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine article, current information on the importance of prompt medical attention in the event of snakebite.

Checklist of Texas Wildlife - Scientific and common names of Texas Snakes.

  Texas Junior Naturalists

Texas Junior Naturalists
Snake FAQ | Venomous Texas Snakes | Snakebite Stats

Snakes!

Hognose Snakeshognose snake in defensive posture with neck distended

Hognose snakes have a turned up snout, reminiscent of a pigs nose (hence the name, "hognose").

Hognose snakes eat mostly frogs and toads and are generally found near wet areas (where frogs and toads usually live). Hognoses, sometimes referred to as "spreading adders", are harmless, yet often mistaken for a venomous snake because when threatened, they can flatten their necks and puff them out to look like a large venomous snake head. eastern hognose snakeThey will also hiss and vibrate their tails among dry leaves which sounds very much like the rattle of a rattlesnake.

hognose snake playing dead by flopping onto back

If the danger persists and his bold display fails to intimidate the attacker, the hognose will then play dead by rolling over onto his back and even let his tongue hang out of his mouth to convince you that he is truly dead and should be left to rot. They will even roll back onto their backs if you try to them turn them over. After all, no self-respecting dead snake would be caught dead bellydown! As you can see, they are very interesting snakes and because they are so gentle, they have often been kept as pets, however, they tend not to thrive in captivity, and their diet is highly specialized, so it's best to leave them in their natural habitat where they can keep the toad population in check.

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Additional Information:

Texas Memorial Museum's Herps of Texas - online list of reptiles and amphibians of Texas
Texas Department of Health's This Bites - online information on the venomous snakes of Texas

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