Found this outside on patio in northern Virginia, Ashburn area, September 2018. It's about 12 inches. Is it a water snake or rattlesnake?

enter image description here

It looks like an Eastern Hognose Snake, which is characterized by an upturned nose and high likelihood of playing dead.

These are described as variable in coloration:

"Two color phases are common in Virginia: (1) a patterned phase (79.6%, n = 98), characterized by a series of 19-27 (average = 23.2 ± 2.4, n = 12) black or dark-brown blotches along middorsal line, with alternating black spots on sides; body color consists of varying combinations of gray, tan, pink, yellow, orange, and red; venter of body and tail immaculate cream to dark gray;"

If you replace the tan in this image (www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com) with gray in yours, I think the pattern match and overall body form are very similar:

hognose snake

  • 1
    Another characteristic of Hognoses is their tendency to flatten their necks in a cobra-like fashion when they feel threatened. This is visible on both the picture in the question, and in the answer. – JAD Sep 21 at 8:49

Your Answer

 
discard

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.