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Woodhouse Lane, Botley, Southampton SO30 2EZ
Tel. 01489 789300
In association with South Coast Constrictors
Phyllomedusa bicolor
Phyllomedusa bicolor

Care Sheet

Western Hognose Snake (Heterodon nasicus)


Common names: Western Hognose Snake

Size: 45-90cm is average

Age: Up to 15 years.

Difficulty: Low, they make great pets due to small size and relatively easy husbandry.

Temperature: 75-78°F.

Humidity: Low. A damp moss hide should be included to aid the Hognose in shedding. Water needs to be changed everyday.

Housing: 60x45x45 (2ft) is perfectly adequate for an adult Hognose. This species spends much of its time hiding so will prefer a smaller enclosure to feel more secure. Small plastic enclosures such as breeder boxes and small faunariums are suitable for hatchling and juvenile Hognose.

Heating: Dependent on what enclosures you are heating. Plastic enclosures can be heated using heat mats, whereas wooden vivariums or similar housing should be space heated using bulbs, ceramic heaters or heat plates.

The three most important things to remember when heating any enclosure are:

  • Ensure the animal cannot burn itself with the correct fitting of the heat source and protecting it with a guard.
  • Choose the appropriate wattage for the size enclosure. This can help further reduce the risk burns and overheating (it can also help save energy!)
  • Always using an appropriate thermostat. (Refer to Thermostat Guide)

Substrate: Aspen is a widely used medium for keeping Hognose on. However desert bedding and wood chip can also be used. Unprinted newspaper is perfect as hygienic flooring, although it does need to be changed quite regularly.

Diet: Defrosted mice. Some Hognoses can be tricky feeders - one commonly used method is to scent a mouse with salmon oil. This appears to be highly affective.

Natural Distribution: Wide distribution across North America.

Things to note: Western Hognose snakes are rear fanged venomous colubrids. Their venom however poses little or no threat to humans. Hognose also have stocky bodies and their scales are heavily keeled.