Snake Aggressive Hognose

I have a sub adult female western Hognose. She’s an absolute sweetheart, she may hiss if you wake her up but once she sees you she’s a perfect angel. The other day I was making a quick check on everyone and was pulling tubs out 2 at a time. Both her and the ball python next to her were at the front so I didn’t open them too far, the hognose reached up and must have smelled the ball beside her and went nuts! She lunged that direction and was a pain to get back in her tub which is very unlike her as she doesn’t even strike at her food. I put it off to her being hungrier than usual and just got excited. Today another snake shed and I had put it down really close to her tub. I opened her tub to look at and hold her but as soon as she smelled of the skin she went nuts again! Fast movements with her mouth open, ready to grab anything! She got close to grabbing my finger and refused to go back to her tub until I got my hook and made her. She ate 3 days ago so she shouldn’t be hungry. What’s up with her? Territory? Hungry for snake?

Hognose are not a snake species that eats other snakes. Frog eaters naturally. Not sure of her reactions but wouldn’t call it a food response. Was she holding? Tail rattling? Hissing? Bluff or open mouth striking?

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No sounds, wasn’t exactly looking at her tail, full open mouth attacking. She wasn’t trying to run away from it, she was going after it

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Adult females can become ravenous, especially if they are preparing to build eggs. I know you said sub-adult but how old and how many grams is she?


As far as I know she’s a year or so old and 120g

Definitely possible. With my females that get like this I try to gently rub a snake hook on their head as a signal to them that they aren’t being fed. It helps, but not always.

She’s fine about food aggression, always super gentle about it. It’s only when she smells another snake she gets upset. I had a piece of fresh shed and she went ballistic over it. Ten minutes later I picked her up and she was sweet as always, cruising around my hand and being happy as could be.

Hognose will eat other snakes.

Easterns are toad eaters and picky about it.

With that being said I’ve never had a western have a feeding response to ball python shed or when they were housed next to a ball python. Interesting.

I don’t think it’s a feeding response as she doesn’t hiss when she gets actual food. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s maybe a territory thing

It could also be a fear thing, since it sounds like she is defensive. I don’t think snakes really claim territory in the wild, or have an instinct to do so. She may just be afraid she will get eaten.

That’s true too! Just wonder why suddenly so upset :thinking:. She used to be housed next to small kingsnakes and never had a problem, maybe she can tell the snakes around her now are much bigger. Oh well, just going to handle her first away from the other snakes I guess.

Ok, so today is weigh day for all the snakes. When I got to Dolly, the hog, she was super jumpy and kinda spazzy. When she was in the container she would bump into the edges and jump like she hadn’t seen it there or it scared her. I know she’s not blind as she has been in the same bin and never acted like that. She was just super agitated and was buzzing her tail a bit. Idk if maybe she’s about to go into shed and her eyes are about to go blue and that’s what’s making her upset as she has not shed while I’ve had her (2 months). It just baffles me as to her sudden mood change! I have never had a snake change so much, I’ve seen them touchy when deep in blue but not so random as her.

You’re probably right about shedding. It’s a little tough to judge on hognose sometimes.

I did throw a ball python shed in with my male hognose after reading your post (for science!). He didn’t care about it.

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Was the shed still wet? Mine does care if they are weeks old. Do Hognose not go blue like balls? Why do you say it’s hard to judge?

The hog I used to have would seemingly take so much longer to actually shed and I never saw him in blue (though I know they do). No way to like say for sure but my thinking is hogs take longer to shed or get through the usual symptoms of shedding…



  blue balls....



Such a child lol I swear first it’s gogurt snakes now blue balls… Lolol


That may be what’s happening then, she just acts like she can’t see and absolutely does NOT want to be held. I’ll keep an eye out for a shed then!

@thecrawdfather , didn’t even think about it that way :joy::joy:. I’ll have to agree, first the yogurt snake and now laughing about colors and objects :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::rofl::rofl:


I’d suggest only going into her tub/tank for water changes, poop checks, and feeding if she will eat for a few weeks. Or at least until you find a shed. My dude loved to bury when he shed and so I’d find a “new snake” and no shed at first.