Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)
Sub-order Serpentes, Family Colubridae
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Photo of Eastern Hog-nosed Snake courtesy of Corey Wickliffe
20 - 33 inches. Record - 45½ inches.
Photo of Eastern Hog-nosed Snake courtesy of John White
Anywhere there are sandy soils, including fields, any open woods, agricultural fields and pastures. Appear to prefer edge habitats.
How to Find
This diurnal species can be found anywhere there are large toad populations, their main prey item. Walk field, forest and wetland edges in late Spring and Summer, particularly during a toad metamorphosis event, or look in your backyard vegetable garden. Typically “plays dead” when handled. Only a few reported bites by this species. Considered non-venomous, though it is a “rear-fanged” snake with mildly toxic saliva. Often mistaken for Copperhead.
Photo of Habitat for Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Distribution in Maryland
Can be found statewide but more abundant on the Coastal Plain.
- Discover Maryland's Herps
- Maryland Herp History
- Maryland Herp Checklist
- Survey Techniques, Collecting Ethics, Safety and the Law
- Problems with Buying Frogs and Tadpoles for Wild Release
- Technical Guide: A Key to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Maryland - 86.3 MB pdf file
- Maryland Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) Project
- Natural Heritage Program
- Wildlife & Heritage Home
"A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"
To see older newsletters, please visit the MARA Resource Page.
The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.