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  • o Tank – 20+ Gallon
    o Substrate – 10-24 qt
    o Heating – overhead or undertank, if using an
    undertank heater a
    thermostat is required
    o Digital Thermometer
    o Water Dish
    o Minimum 2 Hides
    o Leaf litter/foliage
    o Low output UVB

  • Floor space is more important than climbing space with these snakes, so a 20 gallon tank or similar sized ExoTerra is fine for a baby to juvenile or an adult male. A female would benefit from larger caging.

  • To allow for their fossorial nature, 2-3 inches of bedding is recommended. Many types of bedding can be used for hognoses such as: Coconut fiber, aspen, Biodude Terra Sahara, or reptisoil

  • To allow for proper digestion of food, the warm side of the enclosure should reach 88-93 degrees, which is properly achieved with a basking light or under tank heating.

    Overhead lighting should be turned off at night to maintain a day/night cycle.

    Low output 5.0 UVB light should be provided during the day time covering less than 25% of the enclosure.

    If the cage drops under 68 at night a supplemental night heat source may be required.

  • Hognose snakes do not require high percentage humidity. Light misting during shedding is all that should be needed. A large water bowl should be provided that the snake can fit its entire body in to soak.

  • All snakes are strictly carnivores, and hognose’s feed weekly on rodents. Adult snakes will eat less often than juveniles and may have decreased appetite in the winter.

    Hognose snakes should eat a prey item slightly larger than the circumference of the largest part of their body. The size of the head and neck can be ignored. A lump in the middle of the body should be apparent after feeding, if a lump is no longer seen it is time to move up the prey size. They generally eat once per week.
    Live prey should never be left unattended with the snake. Frozen food must be completely thawed and warm before offering to the snake.
    All snakes should be kept in their enclosure for feeding. It reduces the stress on the animals and makes them more likely to eat. Removing them from their caging does not make them less “aggressive” but can cause your snake to not want to eat.

  • Because they are fossorial, these snakes like to have lots of décor that they can hide under. Lots of flat cork bark pieces are good for achieving this, along with other hiding places or leaf litter.

  • Spot clean your hognose’s enclosure daily, removing any feces, urates, or shed skin. Full substrate changes should be done every 4 months unless a bioactive setup is in place.

  • When you approach your western hognose snake to pick it up, do not grab the snake from above, as this elicits a prey response since this resembles a bird or other predator snatching it up. As you are handling the snake, let it crawl over the open palms of your hands and support the whole body of the snake.

    A snake should never be held for at least 24-48 hours before or after a meal. They also should avoid being held while shedding.

    Incomplete or flaky sheds occur when the snake is too dry. Simply increase the humidity and give the snake a soak during the shedding process to avoid this condition. The shed should come off in one piece.
    Snake mites are the most common health concern encountered by snake keepers. Mites are transferred from snake to snake mostly through handling by multiple people. They can be prevented by washing hands before and after holding any snake. 
To treat mites, we suggest a combination of a topical treatment on the snake along with a deep clean and treatment of the terrarium. There are several products available for this.

Western Hognose Snake

Western Hognose Snakes are found here in the United States, and are one of many species of hognose snakes. Some other hognose snakes include the Eastern hognose, the Southern Hognose, and the Mexican hognose snakes. Hognose snakes are fossorial, meaning that they like to spend time beneath dirt and leaf-litter. Their unique upturned snouts aid in burrowing. In their natural habitat, hognose snakes have a preference for eating small toads and frogs. Hognose snakes are actually rear-fanged snakes, possessing very mild venom, not considered medically significant to humans, secreted by chewing on prey with modified teeth in the back of their throats to aid in succumbing small prey, digestion, and swallowing. When threatened, these snakes will show their cobra-like hood and hiss loudly. This is only a bluff, however, and they will roll over onto their backs and defecate as they play dead if the bluff fails.

Size: 18-30 inches
Lifespan: 15-25 years
Diet: Carnivore
Temperament: Docile
Activity Cycle: Diurnal

Dfw Reptarium reserves the right to refuse sale of any animal that we do not believe will receive proper care.

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