The hognose sometimes makes an impressive noise by exhaling a blast of air, resulting in another common name: “hissing adder.” Although the snake may seem scary when spreading, hissing, or playing dead, it eats toads for a living. Toads also like to swell up when threatened, so the snake uses a special longer tooth to puncture the lungs of the toad, so it can be swallowed more easily. To see photos of the process of eating a toad, click here. Although this snake is harmless, to an untrained eye it may look like a copperhead or cottonmouth, so it is much better not to experiment with these behaviors unless you are absolutely certain of the identification of the snake. Further complicating identification, variations in coloration are common in individuals, even from the same geographical area (see photo below).