Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Michigan Native

Hognose Snake, non-venomous.  The girls and I found this snake on our walk a few days ago. Molly actually stepped right on him.  These snakes flatten their heads just like a cobra and make a hissing sound not unlike that of a young rattlesnake.  The two large black spots are on top of the flattened portion of his head. His eyes are directly in front of these spots and cannot be seen in these pics. Their name comes from their upturned snout which they use to burrow for critters to eat. The upturn of the snout did not show up well in these pictures. When they feel very threatened (bottom picture) they roll over and play dead.


  1. It's great to see "your" hognose snake, Lindy. They're so beautiful once you realize you've nothing to fear from them. And they're amazing consumers of burrowers from pillbugs to voles... Congratulations on the progress with the hole. A house will appear in time!

  2. Hi, Susan, thanks for your comment. These amazing little snakes (18" when fully grown) are really quite fascinating. I was amazed when he flipped over and played dead. Even though I was born and raised in MI I had never seen nor heard of these particular reptiles. I feel very fortunate to have been able to see one "up close and personal". :D Doug said I should have brought him home as we have way too many voles on this piece of property.

  3. If you find another one then mail it to me! (kidding!!!)

    I am over run with the little voles! My cats are killing quite a few, but disturbingly, they find some of them on other peoples property and bring them home to 'play' with. GAAACK!

    I wonder if the snake's flattening of its head is an adaptation to make it appear to be the shape of a poisonous snake?


  4. Lynda, don't be surprised if you find one in the mail someday. LOL!!!! :D

    The fact that the Hognose snake flattens its head like a cobra and hisses to sound a lot like a young rattler makes me think these are both defense mechanisms to frighten predators and/or humans. My first reaction was to yell - after all we have only been out of the desert a few weeks and looking out always for rattlers was what we automatically did.