Why is my hognose drawing circles on me? (Not digging)

(Photo of Scoria snuggling, before drawing circles)

My little baby hognose decided to come out and snuggle today, and after she was done she started slithering around on my arm and every so often would rub the bottom of her chin/jaw around in a circle motion for 5-10 seconds. And then she’d scoot along to another part of my arm and then repeat this action, if my arm were made of snow she’d be drawing a circle on it with her chin movement. She did this around 5 times on different places along my arm before she decided she’d had enough play time and calmly went back toward her enclosure. I haven’t seen her do this movement in her enclosure (though who knows what she does when I’m not watching her).

She wasn’t digging, I’ve seen that and she does that with the front of her face and very different posture. She also wasn’t wiping off anything on her lips- sometimes after she eats she’ll wipe the sides of her mouth on her moss but today wasn’t a feeding day and that’s also a different looking motion.

Do they have some sort of scent marker on/near their chin, maybe she was doing something with that? I haven’t seen this in any of the hours of hognose care videos I’ve watched. (Am I “her territory” now, haha XD?)


It sounds a lot like it was digging movements with how you describe it, that’s what I’ve seen from digging hognoses at least…
Otherwise does she have any stuck shed? It could be another cause for that. I’m pretty sure they don’t have any scent glands in their head/chin, I feel like that’s something that would be more passed around. The people who keep hognose snakes will have more experience with their body language than I do, so I’m sure they can figure out what is going on for sure!


Hello Happy New Year and welcome to the forum! :clap::wave: My Hognoses have done that from time to time. Your skin is different than digging into the substrate. Your hoggie is just doing its natural hoggie thing. Trying to dig.

Cute little girl btw! What’s her name?:thinking:

Edit to add: videos are great for basics. However each animal is an individual and has its own unique personality/quirks in different situations. You are getting to know your animal which is a good thing. The more in tune you are the faster you will notice when something is wrong. Hoggies are lots of fun!


Her name is Scoria! (It’s a kind of red porous volcanic rock)
Okay, so not all digging is nose digging? I know I’ve seen a video of a different snake that wiggled down into some sprinkles, wasn’t sure if hoggies could do that kind of motion.

She’s a strange girl, it’s fun to try to figure out what she’s thinking!


That’s a really lovely unique name! I like it! :+1: Hognoses in the wild use their snouts to dig up toads, lizards, etc. So they are a rooting/digging kind of snake, unlike most other snakes who hunt or sit in an abandoned burrow to ambush their prey.

So I guess you could say that hoggies are unique. Mine will try to root around in the palm of my hand if he is comfortable enough.

Since you have watched some videos have you seen any where a hognose rolls over and plays dead with its tongue hanging out? :joy:


Love the name Scoria! How did you choose that?