Did you know that all hedgehogs are considered exotic pets? It’s true! Some regions of the world even have bans on owning hedgehogs as pets, including the domesticated breeds. In fact, there are only four domesticated breeds of hedgehogs that can be kept as pets.
We’ll introduce you to 17 different types of hedgehogs, including both domesticated breeds and wild species.
The 17 Types of Hedgehog Breeds
1. African Pygmy Hedgehog
The first of our domesticated hedgehog breeds, the African Pygmy hedgehog is also known as the “four-toed hedgehog”. They are one of the most popular types of domesticated hedgehogs sold as pets. Solitary, nocturnal, and energetic, they can run as much as five miles a night!
2. Algerian Hedgehog
The next most popular of all domesticated hedgehog breeds, a distant relative of the Algerian hedgehog was domesticated by the Romans in the fourth century to be used for meat, quills, and pets. They usually grow to be about 7–10 inches long.
3. Egyptian Long-Eared Hedgehog
Smaller than European hedgehogs, when found in the wild this domesticated breed will often hibernate for short periods of time in summer and winter. Long-eared hedgehog breeds are naturally parasite prone, so be sure to source one from a reputable dealer if you’d like to keep one as a pet.
4. Indian Long-Eared Hedgehog
The last of four domesticated hedgehog breeds, these animals are native to India and Pakistan. This means that the Indian Long-Eared hedgehog can handle both extreme heat and extreme cold much better than most hedgehogs.
5. European Hedgehog
Found across much of Europe, these are often called the common hedgehog. They can grow to up to a foot in length and live as long as 10 years.
6. Southern White-Breasted Hedgehog
Found in Eastern Europe and Western Asia, the Southern White-Breasted hedgehog differs from the European mainly by its white belly and its habit of making a nest from grass as opposed to digging.
- Related Read: 14 Things You Can Feed a Hedgehog (and What to Avoid)
7. Northern White-Breasted Hedgehog
Easily recognizable by their white bellies, these hedgehogs were originally found in Eastern Europe, but have spread to Russia, Ukraine, and the Caucasus region.
8. Amur Hedgehog
Native to Central Asia, the Amur hedgehog can grow up to a foot long. They are also found in South-Eastern Russia, Korea, and China.
9. Somali Hedgehog
Found only in Somalia, these small hedgehogs have a white belly with brown or black legs.
- You may also like: 9 DIY Hedgehog Cage Plans You Can Build Today (With Pictures)
10. Southern African Hedgehog
The handsome South African hedgehog has a distinctive white stripe on its head against otherwise dark fur. They can be found in countries like Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
11. Daurian Hedgehog
A protected species in Russia and Northern Mongolia, the diminutive Daurian hedgehog grows to only around 6–8 inches long.
12. Hugh’s Hedgehog
Native to Central China and Manchuria, the voracious appetite of the Hugh’s hedgehog sometimes leads it to look for food during the daytime—a behavior not shared by other hedgehogs.
13. Desert Hedgehog
The pint-sized prince of hedgehogs, Desert hedgehogs only grow up to six inches long. They can be found in the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East.
14. Indian Hedgehog
Though they bear a similar name to a domesticated hedgehog, this different species is found only in the wild. They live in the high mountain areas of India and Pakistan and are most distinguishable by their small size and mask-like face markings.
15. Brandt’s Hedgehog
The Brandt’s hedgehog is naturally found in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen. It has very dark fur and quills, and much larger ears than most hedgehogs. When threatened, they have been known to jump at predators spikes-first!
16. Gaoligong Forest Hedgehog
Only discovered as recently as 2018, this unique species can only be found on the slopes of Mt. Gaoligong in the Yunnan province of China. They hibernate between October and April—almost half the year!
17. Bare-Bellied Hedgehog
Endemic to Southeastern India, this rare species was long thought to be extinct. Now, they can be found regularly in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
- Another interesting article on the topic: Algerian Hedgehog
Found all over the world, hedgehogs are fascinating animals that tend to go unnoticed. We appreciate you taking the time to peruse our list of hedgehog species, and hope that you enjoyed learning more about our favorite spiky mammals!
- How Much Does It Cost to Own a Hedgehog?
- Why Is My Hedgehog Losing Quills? (Hedgehog Quilling)
- Brandt’s Hedgehog
- Egyptian Long-Eared Hedgehog
Featured Image Credit: amayaeguizabal, Pixabay