The Southern Hognose Snake (heterodon Simus) has a light-colored belly and underside of the tail, and a more upturned snout. The Southern Hognose snake does not hood or spread its neck as pronounced as the Eastern Hognose (heterodon platirhinos) does when first encountered.

Above Eastern Hognose from Hillsborough county

Description: Average adult size is 20-33 inches (51-84 cm), record is 45.5 inches (115.5 cm). It has a thick body and slightly upturned, pointed snout. Adult coloration is extremely variable and may be mostly yellow, tan, olive, brown, gray, orange, or reddish-brown with dark brown or black large, irregular shaped blotches on the back and smaller blotches on the sides. Some individuals may be entirely black or dark gray without any pattern. The belly may be yellow, light gray, or pinkish and may or may not be mottled gray or greenish. The underside of the tail is lighter than the rest of the belly. There is a dark line extending from the upper jaw through the eye. The scales are keeled, and there are 23-25 dorsal scale rows at midbody. The pupil is round.

 Above: Dark phase Eastern Hognose (Simus has never been recorded of having a dark phase)

                            Top Southern Hognose "simus'

                            Below Eastern Hognose "platirhinos"

Eastern Hognose, Hernando County 12/2012 

Hognose snakes are frequently confused with Pygmy rattlesnakes - Rattlersnakes do not hiss at all, so if the snake you see hisses it is most likely a Hognose snake and harmless.

Comparison: Pygmy Rattlesnake &  Hognose Snakes

The tip of the Pygmy Rattlesnake snout is blunt and rounded; pupil of the eye is a catlike vertical slit; and there is a pit on the side of the head between the eye and nostril. Tail end is often a sulfur color.

             Pygmy rattlesnakes Sistrurus miliarius barbouri

Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos), Madison County, Florida. 

                           Ventor coloration

                                  Top Southern Hognose "simus'

                                  Below Eastern Hognose "platirhinos"

Baby Southern Hognose have dark ventors when born but can turn cream color as they mature.

Eastern Hognose Snake-Alachua County

Eastern Hognose Snake, Marion County, Florida. photo Jake Scott

Eastern Hognose Snake, North, Florida

Eastern Hognose Snake, Hatchling, North, Florida