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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:35 PM
Gail P's Avatar
Gail P Gail P is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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Originally Posted by TwinTails View Post
I know this is an older post, but I wanted to point out that Eastern Hog Nose Snakes are venomous - they are rear-fanged snakes, and while their venom is not considered toxic/harmful to humans, they still can bite and release their venom (one guy I knew did a trial to find out what would happen if the venom was allowed to swell in his blood, he simply had a horrible engorged thumb [where the HN had clamped down on for over 20 mins], but that was about it).
The Eastern Hog-nosed Snake is not considered to be venomous, and to suggest otherwise is to further endanger it. Too many people already kill them out of fear because with their heavy build and threatening displays they are mistaken for a more dangerous kind of snake. A nickname for them is "puff adder" although they are in no way related to adders, which are a type of pit viper. Maybe the guy who did the "trial" got an infection, or reacted in some other way? The Massassauga Rattler is the only venomous snake found in Ontario. Here is some more info on the Eastern Hog-nosed Snake:

Eastern Hog-nosed Snake

Features: The Eastern Hog-nosed snake (Heterodon platirhinos) is sometimes mistaken for a cobra because when it is threatened it rears back and flattens its neck out. It may strike out if harassed but rarely bites, and it is non-venomous. It gets its common name from long scales on its nose which give it an upturned snout. Old individuals can be one metre long and their bodies are thick. They prefer sandy, well-drained habitats such as beaches and dry woods because this is where they lay their eggs in burrows and where they hibernate. But they must have access to wet areas such as swamps to hunt frogs, toads and lizards.

Status: Threatened Provincially and Nationally

Range: The species is widespread south of the Great Lakes and east of the Rockies, but it is not common anywhere. In Ontario, it is found in southern and central Ontario as far north as Lake Nipissing. Range Maps

Threats: The species is at the northern limits of its range in Ontario and was likely never common here. Historic declines were probably due to loss of habitat from development and farming, and persecution by people. These factors continue as threats today and slow recovery of the species in Ontario.

Protection: Under Ontario's Endangered Species Act 2007, it is illegal to harass, capture, buy, sell, possess, or kill the Eastern Hog-nosed Snake. This species is also protected under Ontario's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Some populations in Ontario are on public land such as provincial parks where they receive habitat protection. Education on this harmless species is important, and has paid off in Pinery Provincial Park where staff have implemented a public education program and report that fewer snakes are being killed by visitors.

Text Sources: Schueler 1996

Last Modified Date: October 2008
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