Tag Archives: Long-eared Hedgehog
The long-eared hedgehog is a species of hedgehog native to Central Asian countries and some countries of the Middle East. The long-eared hedgehog lives in burrows that it either makes or finds and is distinguished by its long ears. It is considered one of the smallest middle eastern hedgehogs. This Hedgehog is insectivorous but may also feed on small vertebrates and plants. In captivity they may live as long as 7.6 years.
Since the long-eared hedgehog is naturally parasite prone and can carry diseases as bad as plague, it is highly recommended that, if kept as pet, it should be purchased from a respected dealer. Wild hedgehogs have been found to carry Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the brown dog tick, which can transmit Boutonneuse fever.
The long-eared hedgehog is an insectivore; 70% of its diet consists of insects, beetles and caterpillars, with some worms and a tiny amount of slugs and snails. The idea that these animals eat only slugs and snails is a myth; this type of food makes up only about 5% of their natural diet. The breakdown of a wild hedgehog’s diet is as follows: 30% beetles, 25% caterpillars, 11% earthworms, 10% bird eggs, 5% mammal meat, 5% slugs and snails, 3% millipedes, 3% earwigs, 2% bees, 1% bird meat and 5% that has been undefined by researchers. This diet breakdown isn’t specific to Hemiechinus auritus but a generalization about most hedgehog species.
The long-eared hedgehog is hunted by the Eurasian Eagle Owl and makes up about 14% of the predatory birds diet. It has been reported as prey for the Pharaoh eagle owl in the Azraq Nature Reserve in Jordan.
Hemiechinus auritus has a range that extends from the eastern Mediterranean region, through the arid and steppe areas of Asia to western Pakistan in the south; and from eastern Ukraine through Mongolia, to China (Xinjiang). This species is native to the following countries: Afghanistan, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The long-eared hedgehog prefers to stay in intermediate climates, avoiding the hot desert and the northern colder mountain areas. Also they prefer areas with moderate rainfall of 100–400 mm.
The long-eared hedgehog only breeds once a year in the summer months of July through September. The presence of spines does not inhibit this species ability to reproduce. Long-eared hedgehogs gestation period is 35–42 days. The female has 8–10 nipples and often has 2–3 babies. After just one week the babies start eating solid food. They are born with very few spines and within five hours after birth the spines have doubled in size. After two weeks the babies are fully covered with their new spines.
Long eared hedgehogs can be agriculturally beneficial since they eat harmful organisms like termites and scorpions. They aren’t found to damage crops since they live in areas that are mostly waste land and desert.