Eastern Hognose Snake (adder)

(Heterodon platirhinos)

The average adult measures 71 cm (28 in) in total length (body + tail), with females being larger than males. The maximum recorded total length is 116 cm (46 in).

The most distinguishing feature is the upturned snout, used for digging in sandy soils.

The color pattern is extremely variable. It can be red, green, orange, brown, gray to black, or any combination thereof depending on locality. They can be blotched, checkered, or patternless. The belly tends to be a solid gray, yellow, or cream-colored. In this species the underside of the tail is lighter than the belly.

When threatened, the neck is flattened and the head is raised off the ground, like a cobra. They also hiss and will strike, but they do not attempt to bite. The result can be likened to a high speed head-butt. If this threat display does not work to deter a would-be predator, a hognose snake will often roll onto its back and play dead, going so far as to emit a foul musk from its cloaca and let its tongue hang out of its mouth.

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