Of the three North American species of hognose snake, two occur in North Carolina. The Eastern hognose snake is the more common of the two. It is found throughout the state but is most common in the Coastal Plain. The Southern hognose snake is smaller, more secretive, and more habitat restricted, preferring the Sandhills and southeastern Coastal Plain. Both snakes are harmless, though often mistaken for venomous ones. Their name derives from their wedge-shaped nostril scale, which they use for digging and which gives them a pug-nosed appearance.