Friday, April 29, 2011

SNAKE!! (Not for the squeamish!)

The Hog Nose Snake or this sneaky snake goes by numerous other names,such as "Blowing Adder, Death Adder, False Cobra, Hissing Adder, Opossum Snake, Puff Adder, Sand Viper, Spreadhead, Spreading Adder".

"This species has one of the most bizarre and exaggerated defensive displays in all of the animal kingdom! "
These snakes are all too common in our neck of the woods. We have seen many over the years but I have seen nearly 6 this year and 3 of them in the past 3 days!



"When first approached or threatened, a Hog-nosed Snake will begin to hiss very loudly. It will begin to flatten out its neck, revealing two large black spots on the neck. Although "primitive", these black spots likely act as eye spots (a common defensive patterning found in a variety of organisms--ex. large spots on the wings of butterflies). As the defensive display continues, it may eventually flatten out almost its entire body. If touched, it will "false strike" with its mouth closed. Some specimens, however, will gape their mouths open and their strikes seem more intent on actually biting. If harassment continues, a Hog-nosed Snake will deflatten, stop hissing, defecate, and writhe about for a couple of seconds. This maneuver acts to smear a foul-smelling musk over its entire body before the final ploy: playing dead! This species will roll over, flop its mouth open, stick out its tongue, and lie motionless! If it is prodded or turned upright, it will repeat the thrashing step and roll back over. After a few minutes of being left alone, it will lift its head and look for the "all clear". If it feels safe, it will turn back over and go on its way."

Their main diet is of Toads which most likely explans why we have so many since we have 4 ponds around our property."The upturned snout is perfectly suited for digging up a buried toad."

I have heard of these snakes all my life but never seen one till I was in my twenties (just a few years back ;) ;) ). I remember when I seen it my dog was trying to attack it. The snake "puffed" out it's head and looked like a cobra. I remember thinking, OMG,someone has let a Cobra loose and it's in my yard!

Although they are non venomous and completely harmless,each time I see one I scream uncontrollably. When I seen this one,after screaming for a few minutes I was able to run into the house and grab my camera. Using a 300 mm zoom of course,no way I could have gotten very close.

3 People said:

Tammy ~ A Primitive Place said...

Eeekkk!
I know I would have screamed!
Then pee'd my pants. ;)
I hate snakes, mice, bugs, spiders, etc.
Yes, I'm a big chicken!
Tam

Katherine said...

Oh yeah,what Tammy said. Snakes freak me out. I couldn't even take a picture, zoom lens or not!

~Katherine

Carol Roll said...

uuuggh Pammie i would of screamed and ran and probably done exactly what that snake does when threatened giggle