Southern African Hedgehog, Atelerix frontalis

The southern African hedgehog (Atelerix frontalis) can be found in many areas of Africa including Angola, Lesotho, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It prefers a habitat in areas that are slightly damp, with abundant vegetation, although it can live in many different habitats. It is nocturnal, spending most of the day resting under leaves and other debris, holes, or bushes. These areas are not permanent, but breeding nests and some winter nests are used semi-permanently.

The southern African hedgehog reaches an average weight of 12.3 ounces and is covered with spines. After one month of pregnancy, one to nine babies are born. This species consumes mostly insects and earthworms, but it will eat other types of food. When threatened, it will roll into a ball, using its spines to repel predators. Despite this, predators with sharp claws like owls are able to consume this hedgehog. The southern African hedgehog appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: Atelerix frontalis. Credit: Andrew Smith/Wikipedia