Southern African hedgehog

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Southern African Hedgehog
Atelerix frontalis.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Erinaceomorpha
Family: Erinaceidae
Genus: Atelerix
Species: A. frontalis
Binomial name
Atelerix frontalis
A. Smith, 1831
Southern African Hedgehog area.png
Southern African Hedgehog range

The Southern African Hedgehog (Atelerix frontalis) is a species of mammal in the Erinaceidae family. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Physical description[edit]

Their bodies are covered by sharp spines. The average mass of a fully grown male is 350g. The main color is brown but there are other colors too.


Their protective mechanism is to curl into a ball when threatened. This, however, is not always enough defence against the powerful claws and hard feet of predatory birds, such as owls.


The gestation period is one month with a litter of between one and nine newborns.


The Southern African Hedgehog is insectivorous, with a wild specimen's diet consisting mainly of earthworms and crickets. However, the South African Hedgehog has evolved to become mostly omnivorous due to habitat loss and trash from human civilization being readily available.


Southern African Hedgehogs are nocturnal. Although these hedgehogs can be found in most environments, they prefer grass and Bushveld that is not too damp and with a good covering of leaves and other debris. They will spend most of the day underneath this cover of leaves or under bushes and in holes; only coming out at night to feed. Sleeping places are changed daily with only some wintering and breeding nests being semi-permanent.

Curled into a protective ball
Southern African Hedgehog
Southern African Hedgehog seen from the right
(Atelerix frontalis)