African Pygmy Hedgehog

Scientific Name: Atelerix albiventris

Habitat: African pygmy hedgehogs are found throughout the savannas of central and eastern Africa. 

Diet: African pygmy hedgehogs eat a variety of slugs, worms, insects, eggs, roots, fruits and even small mammals and snakes!

Size: 0.2 to 0.3 feet high / 0.5 to 0.8 feet long

Weight: 0.9 to 1.3 pounds

Lifespan: 2 to 3 years in the wild. 6 to 9 years in human care. 

Conservation Status:


Our African Pygmy Hedgehogs:

Violet – Born April 26, 2014
Patty – Born April 1, 2018
Rachel – Born July 2018

Did You Know?!

  • The spines of an adult African pygmy hedgehog are permanent and cannot easily be removed without injury to the animal. However, young hedgehogs do lose the spines they are born with and replace them with adult spines in a process called “quilling.”
  • African pygmy hedgehogs have excellent senses of hearing and smell. They can smell food that is located 2 to 3 inches under the ground.
  • African pygmy hedgehogs have a natural immunity to the venom of certain animals. This allows them to consume small venomous snakes and arthropods.
  • If an African pygmy hedgehog encounters an object that produces an unfamiliar smell, it will lick the object and form a frothy paste inside its mouth. It then uses its tongue to spread the paste over its spines. This is thought to camouflage the hedgehog’s natural scent, and to deter predators who will often avoid the new and potentially irritating substance. This behavior is referred to as “anointing.”