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How to tell the difference between Hedgehogs

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings How to tell the difference between Hedgehogs

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    Hello, I have a feeding station and a night cam setup which is visited by hogs throughout the night, I suspect that I have 2 or 3 different hogs visiting but I am struggling to identify the difference between them.

    Does anyone have any way to identify the difference between the Hogs?

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    Hi Richard

    Hedgehogs have individual natural markings as with any animal, if you look carefully enough. Things to look out for are facial markings, colour variations on different parts of the hedgehog – face, spines, skirt, band between skirt and spines, even legs sometimes have different ‘blotches’ on different hogs.

    I wrote some more detailed suggestions in the following:

    For the sake of the hedgehogs, please don’t be tempted to artificially mark them. It is wrong, for so many reasons. The following is some information from BHPS FAQs:

    Can I ‘mark’ my hedgehogs?
    We’re pretty sure a hedgehog would rather not be marked, but if you are going to do it, please do ensure that you use a non-toxic water-based marker and mark just a few spines of the hedgehog. Keep the mark away from the hedgehog’s face and mark it in the garden on the ground rather than picking it up/bringing it indoors. Please don’t use red as people may mistake it for blood and ‘rescue’ it. Do not make hedgehog conspicuous to predators. We have seen some very sad images of poor hedgehogs practically covered in paint! If you are watching the hedgehogs on a wildlife camera you will often be able to tell them apart over time without the need for marking.


    Thanks for the response, I have seen different markings on the back of the hedgehogs I capture on the camera and was wondering if was just the way they where standing or if these could be used to identify them, so you have confirmed that I can, so thanks.

    I will review them closer, but I think that I have 3 adults visiting and have one baby that is currently at the vet being treated, so that makes 4 that visit my garden, I guess I am blessed.

    Thanks again for the advice.

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    Hi Richard

    Unfortunately, the markings on the back of the hedgehog are likely to be where someone has already artificially marked them. The actual spines, whilst they can vary from one hedgehog to another are usually pretty much the same colour all over. (although there are occasionally, for instance, a very few pale spines).

    Using other people’s artificial marks. I have found, is not a reliable way to identify hedgehogs. I have found that a marked hedgehog will sometimes turn up with other different marks on it. Some people use some substance which doesn’t seem to show up in normal light (other than in texture – not as easily noticeable) and some hogs have different coloured markings on them, which leads me to believe they may have been marked by more than one person. Also sometimes, possibly re-marked by the same person in a different pattern.

    The parts of hedgehogs I have suggested are the areas I have found most reliable for identification, although, sadly, sometimes a hedgehog will arrive with artificial markings on it’s face, and skirt.

    Why anyone thinks they have the right to mark a hedgehog is beyond me. If they started marking their neighbours’ cat to differentiate it from the other neighbourhood cats (on their night camera images), there would be an uproar. It’s the same difference – hedgehogs do not belong to that person who has marked them.


    It true you can recognise the different hog last year I had 6 feeding in my front garden and 1 in the back most nights look carefully you can tell them. One of the hogs had a natural white wide stripe 33 inches from his neck to his tail varying in thickness.


    When we fill in the hog map why o why do they not give a choice of numbers instead o just a number 1?

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    Hi Radio

    It’s unlikely that a white wide stripe from the neck to the tail on a hedgehog is natural. It is more likely that the hedgehog has been artificually marked by someone else.

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