Western Hognose Snakes
About: Western hognose snakes are a species of harmless colubrid endemic to North America. Western hognose snakes are relatively small, stout-bodied snakes found throughout the Great Plains states of the United States from Canada to Mexico. Their color and pattern is highly variable and like the Ball Pythons and Corn Snakes come in a wide variety of beautiful color mutations. The Western hognose is probably best known for its wide array of harmless defensive ploys, sometimes accompanied by a loud hiss that is achieved by the snake forcing air through its unique skull and rostral bone structure. Female Western hognoses can grow to a maximum size just short of 3 feet, with a weight that normally does not exceed 800 grams. Males are somewhat smaller, averaging between 14 to 24 inches. Western hognoses may live up to 18 years in captivity.
Habitat: Hognose snakes prefer average warm temperatures between 80-82 degrees in their enclosures, with a hot spot of 86-90 degrees. Space requirements are low since a medium-sized vivarium provides enough room for a full grown corn snake. Corn snakes enjoy hiding and burrowing, so give them a hide box or a loose substrate like Aspen bedding that they can hide under.
Well Being: Hognose like a diet of domestic rats and mice, either live, killed, or frozen-thawed. They typically should be fed once-twice a week for a healthy diet and to increase the weight and length of the snake. Keep in mind that sometimes your snake will not eat when they are in shed; this is perfectly normal. Some hatchling Western hognoses can be challenging to get to accept mice. Scenting a thawed pinky mouse with canned tuna or salmon juice is easy and may encourage these snakes to eat. It usually gets good results, and it’s easy to wean the snakes off this form of scenting in a very short time. Make sure to always have fresh water for them at all times in their enclosures!