Long-eared Desert Hedgehog


Egyptian Long-eared Desert Hedgehog

Long-eared Desert Hedgehog

Species basic information


This hedgehogs are for more advance hedgehog keepers. They are very similar to African Pygmy Hedgehogs but there are some differences between them as well.

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The phylogeny of this species has been disputed. It is sometimes classified in the genus Hemiechinus and sometimes in the genus Paraechinus. Up to five subspecies have been recognized. Hedgehogs have become a fairly common pet in North America and Europe; however, the common pet hedgehog is actually a hybrid of two species.


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Eulipotyphla

Family: Erinaceidae

Genus: Hemiechinus/Paraechinus

Species: Hemiechinus auritus/Paraechinus aethiopicus deserti


This species is found widely throughout much of northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Its range extends all over the Sahara from Morocco to Egypt to Syria and Iraq.

As its common name suggests, the Desert Hedgehog inhabits desert, dry steppe, and other arid terrain. It may favour areas such as oases and vegetated wadis, where food is more readily available, and has also been recorded in gardens, cultivated areas and open woodland. In Egypt, the species has been reported to shelter in cliffs during the day.



In UK Desert hedgehogs may legally be kept as pets.


Life span:

In captivity LDH can live up to 10 years of age, however average life span is 3 - 4 years.


How Long-eared Desert Hedgehog looks like?


What are the differences between Desert Hedgehogs and African Pygmy Hedgehogs:

- darker colour

- much longer ears

- shorter head

- more pointy face

- longer legs, so higher running position

- thinner but sometimes longer tail

- slightly thinner so softer spines


Can be sexed same as APH.



Long-eared Desert Hedgehogs colours are mixtures of brown, black and white. They can have different shades but there is not much variations.


Interesting Facts:

*Many facts about APH apply also to Long-eared Hedgehogs. So what is different about them?

*They require slightly higher temperature 25-27°C but dropping during the night. But also they are more resistant to low temepratures and do not tend to hibernate as quick as APH.

*Desert Hedgehogs are mostly nocturnal animals. However they tend to be active during the day as well. Ours were getting up about 6 pm when light was still on, and sometimes couple of times during a day.

*They are more active then Pygmy Hedgehogs and they can run distance up to 10km per night. They are also faster runners.

*Long-eared Hogs are better climbers then other hedgehogs species.

*Their quills finish growing when they 2 weeks old, so they do not quill after.

*They are very resistant to lack of food of water. Was reported they can go without food/water up to 4 weeks.

*Threatened they tend to run away instead rolling into ball.

*Desert Hedgehogs are more challenging to keep than APH. Due to fact many of animals kept as pets comes from wildness or second generation of them, they are not as much domesticated as APH. At first they might be a bit aggressive and even attempt to bite, however anyone who has handled a grumpy African Pygmy Hedgehog should have no problems with this species. They appear more interactive than Pygmy Hogs and respond very well to handling, but it depends how much work and time you decide to dedicate to them.



Desert Hogs meet only to mate as well. After intercourse, female needs to be separated from male asap, as was reported some males killed by theirs partners. Babies are born after 35 to 45 days. Two babies being typical, rarely more (up to 6). Long-eared Hogs develop quicker than Pygmy. They are born bold, spines grow within 5 - 6 hours. They open eyes after week only and full spines/fur growth is accomplished up to second week of life. They reach sexual maturity in age of 6 - 8 weeks (healthy breeding age for female is 7 months) and are becoming completely independent in age of 2 months. (Please note, this info was found in the internet and not confirmed by Hedgehog Manual)