Trip Details

Location: Linn County, Iowa

Conditions: Sunny, temps in the upper 60's

Time: Early evening

Herpers: Austin and Jim Scharosch

Pictures and account by Jim Scharosch

We had just finished having an awesome sushi dinner with my parents, and Austin and I were driving home. We decided at the last second to stop off a board on the edge of a local sand prairie. We had had good luck at this spot in the past and thought it would be worth a quick stop.

We pulled up, got out of the car, took a couple of steps and Austin reaches down and says "Here's a bullsnake", I look over and see it starting to flatten it's neck into a hood and just about the time Austin is realizing it isn't a bullsnake I say, "That's a freakin' hognose!" It was a large Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos).

The color was very dark compared to the few we had previously seen from the area. It was about twenty-eight inches long and very fat. It of course went right into the playing dead routine. Even after trying to wait it out, the pics above were the best I could manage. I still need to get some decent Iowa hognose pictures.

We flipped the board, and there was a Racer (Coluber constrictor) and a Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer sayi) laying in a depression.

The bullsnake had it's head in a rodent burrow and the racer had it's head up against the back end of the bullsnake. It was pretty funny. I grabbed a quick in situ shot and we put the board back down and left them alone.

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