Squamata (amphisbaenians, lizards and snakes)
Habitat & Range
Western hognose snakes prefer to live in sandy prairies, scrublands and floodplains. They can be found at elevations of up to 8,000 feet in the Central United States, northern Mexico and southern Canada.
Western hognose snakes are relatively small, reaching a maximum length of about 35 inches and weighing less than half a pound. Their dorsal surface is light olive green with about darker green spots. Their ventral surface, however, is almost jet black. Their name is derived from the upturned tip of their snout that they use for burrowing and hiding in sand and loose gravel.
Western hognose snakes feed on small lizards, reptile eggs, birds and small rodents. However, their chief source of food is toads that they find burrowed in the sand.
Reproduction & Lifespan
Mating season takes place between March and May. Thirty to 60 days after mating, the female lays between 4 and 23 eggs in a sandy nest. Eggs hatch in approximately 9 weeks, and the new offspring will be sexually mature within 2 years.
Western hognose snakes live an average of 25 to 30 years.
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