Tri Colored Hognose Snakes For Sale - The Complete Owner's Guide

Tri Colored Hognose Snakes For Sale - The Complete Owner's Guide
Table Of Content

An Introduction to Tri Colored Hognose Snakes

The tri colored hognose snake is a stunningly beautiful and unique pet snake that has recently grown in popularity among reptile enthusiasts. This medium-sized colubrid species has some interesting characteristics that make them stand out from other common pet snakes.

Appearance and Morphs

Hognose snakes have a distinctive upturned snout that gives them their name. The tri colored hognose has a tan, brown or olive base color with varying patterns of darker brown or black blotches and stripes running down the length of the body. The underside is typically white or cream. They average 2-3 feet in length when fully grown.

There are several different morphs of tri colored hognose snakes available on the market. Some popular ones include:

  • Albino - Lacking black pigment with bright yellow or orange pattern
  • Anaconda - Dark brown base with tan pattern
  • Lavender - Light purple or pinkish base color
  • Axanthic - Lacking red/orange pigment, leaving just black, gray and white
  • Hypomelanistic - Reduced black pigment

Temperament and Handling

Hognose snakes are known for their dramatic defensive displays when threatened. They may flatten their necks, hiss loudly and strike, although most specimens in captivity become quite docile and tolerant of handling.

When first picked up, they may puff up with air and put on an impressive bluff act to appear dangerous. This almost comical behavior has earned them nicknames like "puff adder". With regular gentle handling though, hognoses usually calm down and make for inquisitive and interactive pets.

Care and Habitat

Tri colored hognose snakes originate from prairie habitats in Central North America. They are terrestrial and opportunistic feeders, eating small mammals, birds, eggs, lizards and amphibians. Their natural habitat has warm summers and cold winters with frequent temperature fluctuations.

In captivity, hognose snakes should be housed alone as they are not social animals. A 20-30 gallon tank with a secure screen top is sufficient for an adult. It's important to include a substrate that enables burrowing such as aspen chips, cypress mulch or coconut fiber. Provide multiple hides and artificial plants for security.

A thermal gradient is necessary - one end of the tank in the 80s F and a cooler area in the 70s. The nighttime temperature can be allowed to drop into the 60s. A undertank heating pad, ceramic heat emitter or radiant heat panel can be used to create a hot spot. UVA/UVB lighting is also recommended for a more natural day/night cycle.

Feeding Tri Colored Hognose Snakes

Hognose snakes are not finicky eaters in captivity. They will readily accept frozen/thawed mice or rats. Hatchlings can start on pinky mice and graduate to larger prey as they grow. Adults will eat adult mice or rat pups on a weekly to biweekly basis. It's best to feed at night when they are most active.

Be aware that hognoses have mild venom that they use to subdue their prey. While not medically significant to humans, you may notice your snake "chewing" on frozen rodents to work this venom into its meal before swallowing. This venom poses zero threat to you when handling your pet.

Where to Buy a Tri Colored Hognose Snake

Purchasing a tri colored hognose snake from a reptile breeder or specialty store is ideal. Many morphs and locales are available these days to suit any preference. Expect to pay $50-$250 depending on age, morph and breeder reputation.

When acquiring a new hognose snake, look for visible alertness, clear eyes, intact skin and a body with some weight to it. Make sure to find out if it is already feeding on frozen/thawed rodents before purchasing.

Captive bred babies that are well-started on rodents make for the best pet snakes. Avoid wild caught specimens as they often refuse food and succumb to illness. Also be sure to purchase from reputable sources rather than large scale pet store chains.

Top 3 Online Tri Colored Hognose Breeders

  • XYZ Reptiles - Wide selection of designer morphs, excellent reviews
  • The Hognose Hut - Specializes in tri-color hognoses, reasonable pricing
  • Hognose Heaven - Quality captive bred babies, overnight shipping

Key Takeaways on Tri Colored Hognose Snakes

  • Stunning and unique colubrid species native to North America
  • Come in a variety of morphs with different color patterns
  • Make for personable and interactive pets when handled regularly
  • Require warm, dry enclosure with space to burrow
  • Eat readily in captivity when fed appropriate sized frozen/thawed rodents
  • Best obtained captive bred as babies from reputable breeders/stores

The tri colored hognose is an eye-catching and fun pet snake that has a lot to offer the right owner. Their small size, moderate care needs and inquisitive nature make them an excellent choice for both beginners and seasoned snake enthusiasts. Be sure to select a healthy well-started individual and provide proper housing to have many years of enjoyment with a tri colored hognose snake.


Are hognose snakes venomous?

Hognose snakes are very mildly venomous. Their venom is used to sedate prey and is not considered medically significant to humans. Some may show signs of mild irritation if bitten but it is harmless.

What do hognose snakes eat?

In the wild, hognose snakes eat small mammals, birds, eggs, lizards and amphibians. In captivity they readily accept frozen/thawed mice and rats of an appropriate size based on their age and size.

How big do hognose snakes get?

Hognose snakes average 2-3 feet in length when fully grown. Some may max out at around 3.5 feet. They are considered a small to medium sized pet snake species.

Can you handle a hognose snake?

Yes, hognose snakes can be handled once they become accustomed to it. When first picked up, they may puff up and put on a dramatic bluff display. With regular gentle handling though, they calm down and become quite tame.

What enclosure does a hognose snake need?

Hognose snakes need an enclosure with plenty of substrate for burrowing, hides for security, and a thermal gradient from 75-85 degrees F. A 20-30 gallon tank is sufficient for most adult hognose snakes.

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