The Western hognose snake is probably best known for its wide variety of harmless and amusing defensive behaviors. When threatened they will flatten their bodies to appear larger and more dangerous to predators. They also produce a loud hissing noise and they will frequently flatten out the ribs along their neck and “hood up” like a cobra. They will also strike repeatedly with a closed mouth. If none of these displays works their last ploy is to play dead. Western hognoses will roll over onto their back and stick their tongues out. If you turn them over they will turn themselves over onto their backs continue playing dead. This behavior may also be accompanied by the hognose releasing a terrible smelling musk from its anal glands. Unfortunately they generally stop displaying many of these behaviors when kept in captivity.
Due to the different laws in each state we cannot ship western hognoses to Colorado and customers in Iowa & Illinois must have a valid permit. Customers in Texas can have up to 6 in a personal collection without a permit. For information on Texas nongame permits visit the Texas parks and wildlife website. For other locations please check your local and state regulations.
This is a video of a baby Western Hognose playing dead.