Eastern Hognose Snake
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IS THIS SNAKE DEAD ??Nope, just playing possum.This is an Eastern Hognose or Spread-head (Ozark term). They are so interesting to observe. If you encounter one, they try to run, if they can not get away, they will coil up and shake their tails like a rattle snake; even hiss loudly and strike out; if that does not work to scare you off, then they writhe around on the ground like they are fatally injured; all the time, watching your reaction.
Finally, they play dead, and roll over on their back, allow their mouth to open and let their tongue hang out. If you roll them back over on their stomach, they will immediately roll over again and will continue this “act” until you leave. I have seen a few of the these snakes in sandy places where there are lots of frogs at ROLF.
These snakes are harmless; they won’t even bite. Please do not attemp to harm or kill Missouri’s snakes.