hognose snake

/hawg"nohz', hog"-/
any harmless North American snake of the genus Heterodon, the several species having an upturned snout and noted for flattening the head or playing dead when disturbed.
[1730-40, Amer.; HOG + NOSE]

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Any of three or four species (genus Heterodon, family Colubridae) of harmless North American snakes named for their upturned snout, which is used for digging.

When threatened, they flatten the head and neck, then strike with a loud hiss, but rarely bite. If their bluff fails, they roll over, writhing, and then act dead, with mouth open and tongue lolling. They eat chiefly toads and frogs. Heavy-bodied and blotchy, they are usually about 24 in. (60 cm) long. Though not adders, they are sometimes called puff adders or blow snakes.

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 (genus Heterodon), any of three species of North American nonvenomous snakes belonging to the family Colubridae. They are named for the upturned snout, which is used for digging. These are the harmless but often-avoided puff adders, or blow snakes, of North America. When threatened, they flatten the head and neck, then strike with a loud hiss—rarely biting. If their bluff fails, they roll over, writhing, and then feign death with mouth open and tongue lolling.

      Hognose snakes live chiefly on toads and are capable of neutralizing the toad's poisonous skin secretions physiologically. They lay 15 to 27 eggs underground. The widely distributed species are the eastern (Heterodon platyrhinos) and western (H. nasicus). Both are heavy-bodied and blotchy; their usual length is about 60 to 80 cm (24 to 31 inches).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hognose snake — may refer to:* Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen , a.k.a. the northern copperhead; a venomous viperid found in the eastern Unites States. * Heterodon , a genus of harmless colubrid snakes found in North America.Wright AH, Wright AA. 1957. Handbook… …   Wikipedia

  • hognose snake — ☆ hognose snake [hôg′nōz΄ ] n. any of a genus (Heterodon) of small, harmless North American colubrid snakes with a flat snout and a thick body: also hognosed snake …   English World dictionary

  • hognose snake — hog′nose snake [[t]ˈhɔgˌnoʊz, ˈhɒg [/t]] n. ram any harmless North American snake of the genus Heterodon having an upturned snout …   From formal English to slang

  • hognose snake — noun harmless North American snake with upturned nose; may spread its head and neck or play dead when disturbed • Syn: ↑puff adder, ↑sand viper • Hypernyms: ↑colubrid snake, ↑colubrid • Member Holonyms: ↑Heterodon, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • hognose snake — noun Date: 1736 any of a genus (Heterodon) of rather small harmless stout bodied North American colubrid snakes with keeled scales and an upturned snout that seldom bite but hiss wildly and often play dead when disturbed called also hog nosed… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hognose snake — noun A type of colubrid snake characterized by an upturned snout, notorious for playing dead when threatened …   Wiktionary

  • hognose snake — noun a harmless burrowing American snake that has an upturned snout and inflates itself when alarmed. [Genus Heterodon: several species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • hognose snake — /ˈhɒgnoʊz sneɪk/ (say hognohz snayk) noun any of the harmless American snakes constituting the genus Heterodon, notable for their hog like snouts and their curious actions and contortions when disturbed …   Australian English dictionary

  • Snake skeleton — A snake skeleton consists primarily of the skull, vertebrae, and ribs, with only vestigial remnants of the limbs. Contents 1 Skull …   Wikipedia

  • Hognose — Taxobox name = Hognose Snake image caption = Eastern Hognose Snake, Heterodon platyrhinos regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Reptilia ordo = Squamata subordo = Serpentes familia = Colubridae subdivision ranks = Genera subdivision =… …   Wikipedia

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