The western hog-nosed snake feeds on a range of different amphibians, lizards, rodents and eggs (2) (4). They use their enlarged teeth in the rear of its mouth to hold and puncture inflated prey, including frogs and toads (5). The shovel shaped nose, characteristic of hognose snake species, is used for digging, and western hog-nosed snakes have been observed following turtle nest scent trails to locate and dig for eggs (4).
The western hog-nosed snake breeds in the spring, and lays clutches of between 4 and 25 thin shelled eggs during the summer from June - August (2) (4). The eggs hatch after approximately 60 days (2). Western hog-nosed snake hatchlings are around 15-19 cm in length and reach sexual maturity after two years (2).
The western hog-nosed snake is active during the day (2). It is a docile species of snake, and only bites when feeding, not in self-defence (2) (4). If harassed, it will mock strike, and spread its head and neck widely as part of a defensive bluff (2) (4) (5). The western hog-nosed snake might engage in a routine to feign its own death, known as ‘playing possum’ (2) (4) (5) (7). This elaborate strategy involves the snake suddenly turning belly up and writhing violently for a few moments, before lying still with its mouth open and tongue protruding (4) (7). This aims to cause the predator to cease its attack (5) (7).