Types of Hedgehogs: Hedgehogs are a type of animal that we call mammals. Hedgehogs are small and they have short spikes on their bodies, short legs, and a pointy nose. They’re really cute animals and they are many types of hedgehogs (17 species to be exact). These animals look like a porcupine but they are not the same.
A porcupine’s quills (spikes) are poisonous. Hedgehog quills are not. Hedgehogs inhabit a variety of terrain in areas of Europe, Asia, and Africa. You can sometimes see hedgehogs in search of different types of earthworms, after rainstorms. They love munching on invertebrates.
The European hedgehog, also known by its scientific name, Erinaceus europaeus or the West European hedgehog or the common hedgehog, is native to Europe (but you already knew that).
This species of hedgehogs are usually about 10 inches long with a brownish to black appearance. They are known to live for up to 10 years and typically eat slugs, snails, earthworms, beetles, caterpillars, and other insects.
African Pygmy Hedgehog
The African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris) or four-toed hedgehog inhabits areas throughout central and eastern Africa. They grow to about 8 inches long and are white in color. As its name suggests, it only has four toes on each paw. These little guys can also swim. Four-toed hedgehogs feed on insects, grubs, snails, spiders (for example, tarantulas), as well as plants. They live for up to 3 years in the wild.
Long-eared hedgehogs or Hemiechinus auritus are nocturnal and are known to wander up to 5 miles in search of food. They generally live in moderate climates throughout the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean and some arid areas of East Asia. These types of hedgehogs have short spikes and, of course, long ears. Their main defense mechanism is to shoot its spikes and then flee the scene.
Indian Long-eared Hedgehog
The Indian long-eared hedgehog or Hemiechinus collaris lives in arid regions of Pakistan and Northwestern India. It’s a small hedgehog that is dark in color. It grows up to 6.5 inches in length.
Brandt’s hedgehog or Paraechinus hypomelas grows up to 10 inches in length. They have large ears and are dark in color. These types of hedgehogs live in parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen. In addition to curling up in a defensive ball, Brandt’s hedgehogs jump at predators to scare them off.
The desert hedgehog (Paraechinus aethiopicus) is small and grows up to 6 inches long. When threatened, these hedgehogs curl up in a defensive ball that allows its long quills to protrude and hurt predators.
These hedgehog breeds live in desert areas of North Africa and the Middle East. They feed on baby snakes, various invertebrates (like lizards), and even scorpions. However, they are smart enough to rip off the stingers first before eating scorpions.
This hedgehog species was believed to be extinct until recently when some were found in India. There is not much known about these varieties of hedgehogs.
The bare-bellied hedgehog (Paraechinus nudiventris), also known as the Madras hedgehog, is a species of hedgehog that is endemic to dry arid regions and scrubby jungles in south-eastern India.https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Bare-bellied_hedgehog
The Daurian hedgehog or Mesechinus dauuricus is a small hedgehog that grows up to 8 inches long and lives in Russia and Nothern Mongolia. They like to feed on bird eggs, small rodents, small reptiles, and nestlings. These types of hedgehog prefer to be alone.
These types of hedgehogs are endemic to central China and Manchuria. Hugh’s hedgehog or mesechinus hughi, unlike other hedgehog species, that are nocturnal, these ones can be seen looking for food in the daytime.
As the name suggests, the Somali hedgehog (Atelerix sclateri) is native to Somalia. It has white fur on its underbelly however the feet are brown or black in color.
The Amur hedgehog, also called the Manchurian hedgehog (Erinaceus amurensis), makes its home in South-Eastern Russia, Korea, and China. They are about 12 inches in length and are usually pale brown.
Northern White-Breasted Hedgehogs
The northern white-breasted hedgehog (Erinaceus roumanicus) is a species of hedgehog that inhabit areas of Poland, Austria, Greece, and the Adriatic Islands. These hedgehogs look like common European hedgehogs but with a white crest of fur in the breast area.
Southern White-Breasted Hedgehogs
The southern white-breasted hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor) sometimes referred to as white-bellied hedgehog or white-chested hedgehog lives in Southwestern Asia and Eastern Europe.
It resembles the European hedgehog but it has a white spot of fur on its belly or chest area. These hedgehogs also prefer to make nests of grass instead of digging dens. It’s also genetically different than the northern white-breasted hedgehog.
Southern African Hedgehog
The Southern African hedgehog or Atelerix frontalis is brownish in color. It has a distinct white stripe on its forehead and black legs. This hedgehog lives in southern African countries like Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
North African Hedgehog
The North African hedgehog (Atelerix algirus) or Algerian hedgehog lives across North Africa in places like Morocco and Algeria. It has a light coloring and doesn’t have any spines on the crown of its head.
The Indian hedgehog or Paraechinus micropus is native to India and Pakistan and has raccoon-like facial features. It likes sandy desert areas but is not uncommon in other environments. Its diet includes insects, frogs, toads, bird eggs, snakes, and scorpions.
What Types Of Hedgehogs Can Be Pets?
The most common breed of hedgehogs is the African pygmy hedgehog, also called the four-toed hedgehog or the white-bellied hedgehog. These types of pet hedgehogs are usually between 6” – 8” long, making them a great pet for a small household. Other popular pet breeds are the European hedgehog and the long-eared hedgehog.
What Is The Cutest Type Of Hedgehog?
The European hedgehog is the cutest hedgehog and it lives throughout Western Europe. These cute animals can be friendly in the wild, but, European hedgehogs are not domesticated. So, you cannot keep them as pets. The most popular type of hedgehog to keep as a pet is the African Pygmy Hedgehog.
What Do Hedgehogs Eat?
In the wild, hedgehogs mainly eat creepy crawlies The most important invertebrates in their diet are worms, beetles, slugs, caterpillars, earwigs and millipedes. As well as these, they also eat a wide range of other insects.
As pets, you can also feed them fruits, vegetables, and cooked meat. However, be sure that you include insects like crickets and other critters as hedgehogs need chitin from insects.