A ~ C ~ S~N~A~K~E~S

Snake Breeders Based in Leicestershire, England, UK      


Lystrophis Pulcher


Tricoloured Hognose Snakes are a mildly venomous, small colubrid species with an upturned snout which is used for digging.  A species which is generally most active at dawn & dusk (crepuscular), sometimes during the day (diurnal) and very energetic which makes them an extremely interesting and amusing captive to observe.   Unlike the Western Hognose, who have keeled scales, tricoloured hognose snakes have smooth scales.

Some of the many common names are South American hognose, false coral hognose, banded hognose

Experience Level Beginner to Intermediate

Energetic & inquisitive but easily tamed. Hognoses are full of character, extremely active and great fun!


Hognose snakes are mildly venomous and possess enlarged rear fangs. They are not considered particularly dangerous to humans with reactions to bites ranging from no reaction or only a slight tingling sensation to severe swelling and numbness.

In general, hognose snakes are all about bluff and we have found that the tricoloureds are the least likely to bite.  They are mostly ambush hunters and bites are more likely an accidental or inaccurate feeding response therefore use of tongs for feeding is recommended.

Captive Variants Wild Type, Axanthic, Hypo Erythristic
Expected Adult Length Males 45 to 55cm, Females 55 to 65cm
Recommended Housing

Vivarium or plastic tubs, although we have always used tubs with great success.

Other requirements:

- Water bowl.  We offer a large enough water bowl to enable bathing however ours have rarely used it for this purpose.

- A minimum of 2 hides (1 in the cool end  and 1 in the warm end), at least one of which should be moist.

- Deep substrate for burrowing

Good ventilation is essential.

Temperature Range

24C (75F) to 32C (90F).

Recommended Heating

When using a deep substrate, vivs are a great deal easier to maintain the correct temperature with overhead heating than using a heat mat under the tub. 

Viv - Guarded Ceramic heater or heat mat

Tub - Heat mat, we mount ours on the wall to avoid the problem of the deep substrate blocking the heat.

Whichever method is used, the temperature should be controlled by a suitable thermostat and monitored using a digital thermometer.

Origin South America
Natural Environment

Tricoloured hognose snakes inhabit a wide range of tropical and sub-tropical environments including grasslands, wetlands, drylands, shrublands, humid and dry forests. 

Recommended Substrate

Hognoses enjoy digging and we therefore recommend and use a deep (2 to 3") covering of aspen. If using a deep substrate care should be taken to ensure that the correct temperature is maintained particularly when heating with a heat mat or cable as the substrate will act as an insulator. The temperature underneath the substrate could quite easily be 5C (9F) higher than on the top of the substrate. 

Tricoloureds prefer a slightly more humid environment than most hognose species therefore we ensure that they have access to at least one humid hide at all times.

Natural Diet Amphibians, Lizards, Rodents and as hatchlings they may also feed on insects.
Primary Captive Diet Rodents
Other Observations

Hognoses can be very intimidating when approached, as they may hiss, rear up and strike in your general direction with a closed mouth but it is normally all a bluff and if you ignore it, they will more often than not cease this activity. 

This care guide has been written by us at AC Snakes for your information and guidance.
It will be updated and expanded as regularly as we are able, however it should not be used as your only source of care information.
Prior to purchasing any animal it is strongly recommended that you research extensively to ensure that you can provide the correct care for your pet.
Last updated August 2012

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