RALEIGH, N.C. (CBS Local) — Officials in North Carolina are trying to set the record straight about a “harmless” but scary-sounding reptile known as the “Zombie Snake.” North Carolina State Parks and Recreation recently posted images of the “‘famous’ NC snake,” which is officially called the Eastern Hognose. The name comes from its upturned nose, which is used to help dig up toads for eating.
The Hognose snake isn’t venomous. The reptiles vary in color, but the most common ones are usually brown or gray with dark brown blotches.
If bothered, the Eastern Hognose will first “hiss loudly and spread their necks like cobras do, resulting in the nicknames ‘puff adder’ or ‘spreading adder,'” according to Amphibian and Reptiles of North Carolina.
“They rarely bite during these displays, but they may strike repeatedly,” the organization wrote on its website. “If the antagonist continues, the Hognose snake will feign death by opening its mouth, rolling over on its back, and writhing around. If turned over onto its belly, it will immediately roll again onto its back.”
The Hognose snake is found throughout the eastern parts of the country, from Florida and Texas to Minnesota, WSOC reported.