The 9 Most Popular Types of Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are cute little creatures. They are various different types of Hedgehogs today. There are a surprising number of Hedgehogs out there with adorable appearances.Hedgehogs come in a variety of colors including white, black, cinnamon, chocolate, grey, dark Winnicott and etc. They have a very small body, a spiky coat and short legs.

These little creatures curl into a ball when threatened. Hedgehogs range from 10 to 30 cm in length. And can weigh anywhere between 155 and 1584 grams.

Hedgehogs live in various different environments. They can be found in Europe, Asia, Africa and New Zealand. In the wild they can survive for 3 to 8 years. But on the other hand they surprisingly live up to 10 years in captivity.

Hedgehogs; Nocturnal Species

Hedgehogs including the domesticated types are prohibited as pets in some parts of the world. There are only four farmed hedgehog breeds that are permissible to be kept as pets. The hedgehog is not only a unique looking but can also be highly amusing.

It is a challenging task to take care of a hedgehog.  Taking caring for a hedgehog comes with its own set of challenges. Hedgehogs are nocturnal and require a special diet. However if you are ready for the challenge then it will be well worth your time!

Types of hedgehogs

These spiny animals belong to the Erinaceinae subfamily. There are seventeen different hedgehog species spread across Europe, Africa, Asia and New Zealand. All of which are grouped into five general species. Although hedgehogs are linked to shrews it is their spines that set them apart.

Hedgehog spines are essentially hollow hairs made of rigid keratin. These spines don’t detach like porcupine quills and are not even poisonous. There are many types of hedgehogs. Some of which are mentioned in the article.

Hedgehogs are relatively clean pets especially because their waste is confined within their cage. Use the proper bedding to reduce odors and spot-clean daily with a more thorough cage cleaning once a week or so. Hedgehogs aren’t dangerous to handle. Even though they’re coated in spikes these spikes aren’t barbed and are rather mild.

1.     African Hedgehogs

The most common hedgehog breed is one of two African kinds. The four-toed hedgehog is the first type. It originated in the southern desserts of Africa. They can grow to a length of seven to nine inches. And they can weigh up to 24 ounces. There’s also a North African Hedgehog that can grow 14 inches long and weighs up to 35 ounces.

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This hedgehog is also known as the Algerian hedgehog because it has five toes on its back feet. It has a longer face than hedgehogs found in the southern region of Africa. Both of these varieties have white bellies and dark brown quills.

The four-toed hedgehog or the white-bellied Hedgehog was crossed with the Algerian or North African Hedgehog. This mating resulted in what we now know of as the African Pygmy Hedgehog. In adulthood these hedgehogs grow 5 to 8 inches long and weigh up to 12 pounds. They have a life expectancy on an average is around 3 to 6 years.

2.     Asian and Desert Hedgehogs

The long-eared hedgehog is mostly found in Afghanistan Turkestan, some areas of Mongolia and Middle Eastern countries. This hedgehog is the tiniest of hedgehogs while the largest can weigh up to 24 ounces. It grows to be around eight inches long and has slightly longer ears than other hedgehog species. It also has cream-colored or dark brown fur on its belly.

A type of hedgehog also emerged in Pakistan, India, Ethiopia and the Middle East’s desert regions. These species have dark faces and a more pointed nose than any other hedgehog.

3.     European Hedgehogs

The Erinaceous Europaeus Genus is primarily a countryside hedgehog. It is native to the British Isles and other parts of Europe. As It can occasionally be found in residential gardens in some parts of Europe. They have a 14-year average lifespan but the ordinary hedgehog lives only two years in many regions. This is because they are usually hit and killed by automobiles or they lose their habitat.

European hedgehogs are the largest of all hedgehog breeds. They are about nine to fourteen inches long. They weigh around five pounds when fully grown. They have fuzzy faces and bellies and are almost invariably brown. Snails, beetles and slugs are among the animals they feed on.

4.     Daurian Hedgehogs

Northern Mongolia and Russia are home to the Daurian hedgehog Mesechinus dauuricus. It can grow up to eight inches in length. It is widespread around the world and there are no significant dangers to its survival.

Bird eggs, tiny rodents, small reptiles and nestlings make up their diet. Their spines are thought to protect them from some dangers. The average lifespan of a Daurian hedgehog is about six years and they can weigh up to a pound. They are usually found in steppes and woodlands. They dwell in dens.

5.     Indian Long-Eared Hedgehogs

The Hemiechinus Collaris is not the same as a conventional long-eared hedgehog. Hedgehogs of this species can be found in dry areas such as northwest of India and Pakistan. It is a little hedgehog with a dark coat. It conducts a dance ritual over several to impress females of the species and this one of its most distinguishing quality.

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6.     Southern White Breast Hedgehog

This variety of hedgehog is known as Erinaceus Concolor. It resembles the European hedgehog but has a white mark on its breast or belly. Another distinction is that the Southern White-Breasted hedgehog does not dig but makes a grass nest. It may be found in Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Its habits are remarkably similar to those of the European hedgehog.

7.     Somali Hedgehogs

Somali hedgehogs are also known as Atelerix sclateri. They have white bellies and generally brown or black legs. Adults are called sows if they are females and boars if they are males. They are called hoglets while they are young.  Groups of these hedgehogs are called arrays although they are loners who rarely form groups.

The savanna and other open areas are typical habitats for this species. The Somali hedgehog however is scarcely known outside of its native habitat. It is not believed to be endangered.

8.     Brandt’s Hedgehog

This hedgehog is found in desert environments and mountainous locations in the Middle East as well as Central Asia. Johann Friedrich von Brandt department director at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences’ Zoological Department was the first to discover the species. Brandt’s hedgehog is another quick runner with multiple subspecies.

9.     Four-Toed Hedgehog

The four-toed hedgehog is a native of Central and Eastern Africa. It can be found in savannah and cropland habitats. The number of toes on their hind legs gives this hedgehog its name. Females are typically larger than males in this species and they can grow up to 12 inches long. The color of four-toed hedgehogs varies although they are commonly brown or grey with white or cream-colored spine ends.

Final Verdict

Every pet has its own set of unique features but the hedgehog is unlike any other pet you’ll ever encounter. It is a good choice if you’re searching for a difficult pet that will keep you on your toes. Hedgehogs are an interesting animal that is sometimes overlooked. They can be found almost all over the world. Take the time to read through our list of different hedgehog species and we hope you learn something new about these mammals!