What Do Hedgehogs Eat?

what do hedgehogs eat?
  • 33
  •  
  •  
  •  

What Do Hedgehogs Eat? Hedgehogs are small mammals with a unique morphology especially when considering their back hair is made up of sharp spines. These tiny creatures are native to Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Hedgehogs are primarily carnivorous. They eat a diet that comprises of small snakes, insects, mice, slugs, snails, worms, and frogs. Other hedgehog species are omnivorous, which means that in addition to consuming proteins obtained from meat, they also eat plant materials.

Table of Contents

What Do Hedgehogs Eat?

Type of Hedgehog Diet
African Pygmy Hedgehog Plant matter, insects, spiders, and small vertebrates
Southern White-breasted Hedgehog Beetles and earthworms
Long-eared Hedgehog Small invertebrates, small vertebrates, insects, fruits, and vegetables
Daurian Hedgehog Insects
Desert Hedgehog Small invertebrates, frogs, scorpions, eggs, snakes, and insects.

Hedgehog Diets By Types

Biologists have identified 24 hedgehog species so far. These species are further grouped into 5 genera. Examples under each of the 5 genera will be used as the basis for understanding the different types of hedgehogs and their eating habits in various habitats.

What Do African Pygmy Hedgehogs Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Erinaceomorpha Erinaceidae Atelerix Atelerix albiventris

What Do African Pygmy Hedgehogs Eat?African Pygmy hedgehog species are omnivorous. They feed on small quantities of plant matter, insects, spiders, and small vertebrates.

This type of hedgehog has a very short tail, short limbs, and it is very low to the ground. Its habitat is mainly in the desert regions or areas with scrub forests.

What Do Southern White-breasted Hedgehogs Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Erinaceomorpha Erinaceidae Erinaceus Erinaceus concolor

What Do Southern White-breasted Hedgehogs Eat?Southern white-breasted hedgehogs feed on a varied diet which mainly constitutes beetles and earthworms.

This type of hedgehog resides in shrublands, temperate or dry forests, terrestrial lands, while others live in the urban areas.

What Do Long-eared Hedgehogs Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Erinaceomorpha Erinaceidae Hemiechinus Hemiechinus auritus

What D Long-eared Hedgehogs Eat?Long-eared hedgehogs are omnivorous. They eat a diet that constitutes of small invertebrates, small vertebrates, insects, fruits, and vegetables.

This hedgehog species is found in the Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries as well as Egypt. As its name suggests, this hedgehog species can be distinguished by its long ears. Its habitat constitutes steppe and desert areas.

What Do Daurian hedgehogs Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Erinaceomorpha Erinaceidae Mesechinus Mesechinus dauuricus

What Do Daurian Hedgehogs Eat?Daurian hedgehogs primarily feed on insects.

Minimal information is available on this hedgehog species. This hedgehog species inhabits steppe, grasslands, and forest steppe.

What Do Desert Hedgehogs Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Erinaceomorpha Erinaceidae Paraechinus Paraechinus aethiopicus

What Do Desert Hedgehogs Eat?Desert Hedgehogs are insectivorous, but it can also be considered as a carnivore. They feed on small invertebrates, frogs, scorpions, eggs, snakes, and insects.

This is species is also referred to as the Ethiopian Hedgehog. The interesting fact about the desert hedgehog is that it has thrived in population since human habitation. As its name suggests, the desert hedgehog is found in arid desert regions, savannah, grasslands, inland wetlands, and shrublands.

How Do Hedgehogs Hunt?

How Do Hedgehogs Hunt?

Hedgehogs have strong smelling and hearing senses which are instrumental during their hunting process.

  • Their long snouts come in handy during foraging. Hedgehogs use their snouts to look through hedges and other vegetation in search of small organisms (e.g., mice, frogs, snakes, insects, worms, and centipedes) which form a significant portion of their diet.
  • While they do so, they let out hogging sounds. They then attack their prey and proceed to consume it.

When Do Hedgehogs Eat?

When Do Hedgehogs Eat?

Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal. This means that they tend to be active at night. This further implies they will tend to hunt for food and eat at night and then rest during the day.

How often do Hedgehogs Eat?

In the wild, hedgehogs can fill their stomachs twice in a night’s feeding.

What Eats Hedgehogs?

What Eats Hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs have a coat of sharp spines on their backs and sides, which tends to deter possible predators. Other animals, on the contrary, do not shy away from having hedgehogs as their meal and these include foxes, weasels, and large birds. Other hedgehog predators include humans, ferrets, badgers, snakes, and fellow hedgehogs.

Where Do Hedgehogs Fit In The Animal Food Chain?

Hedgehogs are considered to be good indicators of the healthy status of the natural world. Hedgehogs feed on the invertebrates found on the soil. In so doing, they maintain a balance on the population of the soil invertebrates.

  • A reduction in the number of hedgehogs, or their extinction would mean the quality of the environment would be negatively affected especially with the onset of overpopulation of the lower level organisms.
  • Hedgehogs are also vital to the animal food chain because they provide food to some animals in the ecosystem such as humans , large birds, foxes, rats, dogs, stoats, and weasels.

Cite this article as: "What Do Hedgehogs Eat?," in Bio Explorer by Jack Kirsten, June 23, 2017, https://www.bioexplorer.net/what-do-hedgehogs-eat.html/.

Key References

  • “The Differences Between a Porcupine and a Hedgehog | Sciencing”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “ITIS Standard Report Page: Erinaceomorpha”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “Home – Hedgehog Street”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “ADW: Atelerix albiventris: INFORMATION”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “(PDF) Ecology of the Daurian Hedgehog (Hemiechinus dauuricus) in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia: Preliminary Findings | Buyandelger Suuri – Academia.edu”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “Hedgehog | National Geographic”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “Hedgehog Facts”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “Feeding of Casualty Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) (Techniques)”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “Hedgehog | African Wildlife Foundation”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “BBC – Earth – Living in harmony with hedgehogs”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “File:(Erinaceus concolor).jpg – Wikipedia”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “Animal Diversity Web | Flickr”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.
  • “File:Pet Paraechinus aethiopicus (Desert Hedgehog) from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, at lunchtime 10.jpg – Wikimedia Commons”. Accessed June 23, 2019. Link.

  • 33
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 33
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here