How To Tell If You Are Dealing with a Female Hedgehog or Male Hedgehog?

Are you curious about whether your hedgehog is male or female? Good for you!

A few tell-tale signs will help you determine if the little furry friend in your home is male or female.

Whether you’re a hedgehog expert or just looking to get to know the little guys better, it’s always helpful to have a few pointers on how to tell if you’re dealing with a male hedgehog or a female hedgehog.

Differences Between Female and Male Hedgehogs

Here are 5 quick differences between the sexes.

  • Females have a more expansive space between their eyes than males. This is because females have larger ovaries and need space to grow.
  • Females are generally smaller than males, but there are exceptions.
  • The space between their quills is usually wider in females than in males. This makes it easier for females to give birth and care for their young ones during pregnancy and after birth.
  • A female’s spine will be longer than a male’s when they are fully grown females use them to protect their young during pregnancy and after birth, while males don’t need such protection.
  • A female will be much more aggressive than a male when she feels threatened (especially during pregnancy).

Female Hedgehogs

You may have noticed that female hedgehogs tend to be smaller than male ones. This is likely because they are less aggressive and therefore don’t need as much testosterone.

The genitalia of female hedgehogs is also different than their counterparts: They have a shorter anogenital distance, which is the space between their anus and vulva (or penis). Their snout is smaller, as well.

Female hedgehog ears are generally smaller than male ear length, although there can be some overlap in size here (especially if you have a high-energy male who’s constantly on the move).

Female forearms tend to be lighter in color and more muted in appearance when compared with males.

Male Hedgehogs

Male Hedgehogs

If you are trying to tell if you are dealing with a male or female hedgehog, several indicators can help you determine the sex of the animal.

This is especially helpful if you have recently purchased your hedgehog from a pet store and do not know its gender yet.

By looking at its anogenital distance, you can easily tell whether your hedgehog is male or female. The anogenital distance is defined as the space between two points:

  • Where the genitals begin and
  • They end on either side of this point, known as the anus or cloaca.

Suppose your hedgehog has a larger anogenital distance.

In that case, it’s likely that they’re male because this measurement indicates a larger quill size which correlates with higher levels of testosterone in males than in females.

Sexual Dimorphism

A good way to tell if you’re dealing with a male or female hedgehog is by looking at the size of their testicles and the anogenital distance (the space between their anus and genitalia).

As we’ve mentioned, male hedgehogs tend to be larger than females.

Females have a shorter anogenital distance than males, while males have larger testicles than females.

In addition to this difference in morphology, male hedgehogs also tend to have darker anogenital distances than females do because of their large testicles rubbing against each other during mating season—this gives them a darker coloration around their nether regions.

A female hedgehog may be identified by the fact that her vulva is right above her anus. Although she appears to have a projecting portion, there is no space between it and the anus.

If she were a guy, she would have a ‘belly button’, a couple of centimeters up in the exposed portion of the belly, with a space between it and her anus.

Playing the Peeping Tom

The majority of hedgehogs won’t allow you to turn them over so you can see what’s below.

They curl to cover their exposed part to protect it. Babies are more cooperative, which is fortunate because it takes some time to figure them out, even with a really excellent perspective.

Adults will be more challenging, so here’s where I reveal my trade secret: Pyrex!

Find a glass casserole that is of a decent size. No, you don’t have to microwave the hedgehog; instead, you’ll place it in a Pyrex dish made of transparent glass.

You raise the dish and sneak a peek below when the hog settles down.

The penile sheath of male hedgehogs is situated almost halfway up the stomach and resembles a large belly button.

The sex organ is located next to the anus in females. Within the stomach hair, both sexes have a row of nipples on each side.

Due to their tiny stature, it can be challenging to distinguish between sexes in infants. Boys’ bits begin in the same spot as girls’ bits and gradually incline towards the chin as they grow.

The general rule is that if you look and can’t tell for sure after the newborn stage, it’s probably a female. If you must give the little fragment a name, pick a name that may be gender-modified.

There is a very huge, extremely dominant hog by the name of Rosie somewhere in this region. We all make errors, it’s true.

Behavioral Differences

Observing the behavior of your guest hedgehogs can also help you determine their sex.

You are more likely to see hedgehog-courting behavior if you can’t physically catch your visiting hedgehogs “in the act” (which makes it very evident which is which!).

You’ll undoubtedly hear it! In pursuit of the female, the male will surround her. The one being surrounded and producing the “huffing” noise will be the female.

You may learn all you need to know and more in this fantastic movie starring David Attenborough!

Cohabitation and Gender Differences

  • Baby hedgehogs, particularly females, coexist peacefully throughout their lives.
  • Hedgehogs are well-known for being solitary creatures in the wild. However, we’ve discovered from our own research, experience, and consumer feedback that some hedgehogs really get along pretty nicely.
  • Males who are reared together and are never introduced to females have a good chance of cohabiting.
  • Female hedgehogs cohabitate more effectively than males because they lack testosterone and the risk of violence during their sexual peak.
  • Adult males who were not reared together and/or were not exposed to females have the highest chance of fighting and should not cohabit.

All cohabitation should be watched throughout the hedgehog’s life, and the hedgehogs should be separated if symptoms of dominance emerge.


The best way to tell if you are dealing with a female hedgehog or a male hedgehog is that the males have a larger, darker anogenital distance.

The anogenital distance is the distance between the anus and the base of the tail.

This is important because it determines what kind of reproductive organs each animal has and whether they can pass on genetic material through mating with another animal (if they are sexually mature).

The male’s anogenital distance is more significant than the female’s—the males have more space between their bums and their tails because they need more room for all their equipment!

It also tends to be darker in coloration than in females; this makes sense when you consider how male humans also tend to have darker pubic hair than women (although there are exceptions).

Hopefully, this article has been helpful in giving you a better understanding of how to tell if your hedgehog is male or female.

Remember that it is important to know what kind of animal you are dealing with before trying to take care of them properly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can female hedgehogs live together?

Yes, female hedgehogs can share a box or tub. Female hedgehogs need company, but females should be left on their own when it comes to laying their eggs.

Can male and female hedgehogs live together?

Two of what are considered different species of hedgehogs (native to Europe and Asia) may be kept together in the same cage. The animals must not be “unexpectedly” housed together. Otherwise, problems may occur.

Can two male hedgehogs live together?

Yes, but males do not live together, and they are not social creatures. Hedgehogs live alone, so one male may do fine on its own.

Do male and female hedgehogs look different?

The only distinguishing feature between male and female hedgehogs is the presence of spines with an exposed bulbous core that can be felt. Some hedgehogs do not have this, however, and such hedgehogs are considered male or female.

Are Female Hedgehogs bigger than Males?

Typically, only female hedgehogs are larger. When male hedgehogs reach adulthood, they reach 3-4 inches in length. Females can live longer and reach 4-5 inches in length.

Are Male and Female Hedgehogs Different Colors?

Male and Female Hedgehogs are two different color species of Hedgehogs. Male Hedgehogs are gray with black stripes, and females are brown.

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