This species often has been considered a southern subspecies of the western hognose, Heterodon nasicus, but recently has been elevated to species rank. The Mexican hognose is a sedentary species that needs little room, so a 10-gallon aquarium or similar sized plastic tub is suitable as a terrarium. For substrate, use any loose material that allows the snake to comfortably burrow and remain dry. A few inches of aspen works well, as does heavier and harder to clean sand. The snake will usually burrow under a branch or other decoration and will come out at night. Temperatures should be within a few degrees of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, dropping only a small amount at night. A basking light seldom will be used and is unnecessary. Provide water in a shallow bowl and never allow the substrate to become moist. Most specimens will not drink, getting their water from their food. Mexican hognoses feed mostly on lizards and small rodents; they are not toad-feeders. Wild-caught specimens should be wormed by a veterinarian, but captive-bred specimens generally have few parasites. Try feeding your specimen pinky or hopper mice at night. If mice are not taken after a few attempts, try lizards, preferably alive. Once the snake is feeding, you can switch it to mice from lizards by rubbing a dead lizard over a pinky mouse to trick the snake into feeding. Most specimens eventually will switch to mice. Although not technically venomous, some people have shown allergic reactions to bites from this rear-fanged snake.
A species of dry, nearly desert surroundings, the Mexican hognose prefers areas with loose, sandy soils that allow easy burrowing.
The species is found from southwestern and extreme southern Texas into northeastern and central Mexico.
Scientific Name: Heterodon kennerlyi
Species Group: hognose
Size: 15 to 25 inches