Malagasy Giant Hognose Snake

(Leioheterodon madagascarensis)

Reptiles Alive Name: “Mr. Leo Heterodon”

Hissstory: Mr. Leo was a pet in Chincoteague, VA until his owner did not want him anymore. He was sent to a reptile rescue group in western Virginia where, in 2002, we adopted him.

RA Diet: Mr. Leo loves to dine on frozen and then defrosted medium to large sized rats. Delicioussssssssssss!

Natural Diet: Madagascar hognose snakes in the wild will eat small mammals, amphibians, and possibly small birds.

Range: Madagascar

Habitat: Madagascar hognose snakes are found in mountain forests at low altitudes, coastal areas, and grasslands often near water and human habitation. They spend most of their time hiding in shallow burrows or rocky crevices.

Size: Madagascar hognose snakes can grow over 5 feet long and are very heavy-bodied.

Life Span: Madagascar hognose snakes can live over 20 years.

Reproduction: The females snakes lay 6-12 eggs. The young hatch in 60-80 days and are about 12 inches long.

Conservation: Habitat loss is a major threat to most animals found in Madagascar.

Cool Facts: Giant Madagascar hognose snakes are opistoglyphous, which means they have fangs in the back of their mouth. Their mild venom is not dangerous to humans, but it helps them catch their prey. When Madagascar hognose snakes are threatened, they hiss loudly and can flatten their neck – like a cobra!

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