Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon Platirhinos)
The Eastern Hog-Nosed Snake (Heterodon Platirhinos) is usually very docile snake with an upturned snout. When it perceives a threat it flattens it's head and strikes with its mouth closed if the threat remains despite its attempts to scare it away the snake plays dead and rolls over. When playing dead this snake will immediately roll back over if flipped right side up and will do so repeatedly. They may be found throughout WV in woodlands, along sandy edges of rivers and streams, and in cultivated fields and often times they reach more than 40 inches in size. Hog-nosed Snakes may be spotted with squarish blotches of bluish black on a tan background while some specimens are completely black. The diet of this species mainly consists of toads and reproduction produces approximately 20-30 white eggs that are deposited in sandy loose soil.
There is some debate as to whether this snake has venom or toxic saliva, however, strikes are a very rare occurrence and often are a case of mistaken identity. Effects range from none at all to swelling, itching, slight burning, and blisters sometimes lasting up to 72 hours while some unsubstantiated reports even go as far as to say liver failure I believe these to be untrue as I have yet to find hard evidence. Despite being mildly venomous this snake has found a huge following among pet owners as its actions make it unique. The defensive actions of this snake are responsible for its being feared by many people. Hissing, flaring its head and neck, and feigned strikes (with the mouth closed) have led to such names as blowing viper, spreading adder, and puff adder.