IberiaNature A guide to the natural history of Spain
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Algerian hedgehog

Situation in Spain (geography and conservation)

The Algerian hedgehog is considered rare. Its  habitat is restricted to the flat lands of the eastern Mediterranean coast where its numbers have been decimated by urban encroachment across the coastal plains, vehicles and dogs. The Algerian hedgehog was possibly introduced into the Spanish mainland from North Africa. It was certainly introduced into the Balearics, though I am unaware as to whether this was purposeful. (see eating hedgehogs below), and was more recently introduced in the Canaries.

The Algerian hedgehog is slightly smaller and usually lighter than its European cousin - though in these photos, the Algerian is the darker of the two -many Spanish European hedgehogs are lighter. It's spikes are softer and can be almost comfortably held in your hand. Short of doing a full autopsy on its teeth, the best way of telling the two species apart is by the ears, which are far more prominent (see photo) in the Algerian hedgehog and the lack of a widow's peak or "the spinefree 'parting' on the crown of the head" here. It also has a longer snout and longer legs, indicating that it walks more. Its other English name of vagrant hedgehog is presumably in reference to this.

Ethnobiology and translation

  • English: Algerian hedgehog
  • Spanish: erizo moruno
  • Catalan: eriço clar
  • Latin: Atelerix algirus
See also: Hedgehogs in Spain - Hedgehog mortality in Spain + Hedgehog eating tradition + Darwin on Spanish hedgehogs

Outside links

Study of Algerian and European hedgehogs in Catalonia ( iberianature )