Brandt’s hedgehog is active at night, although it may venture out during daylight hours after rain, to feed on emerging insects (2) (6). In addition to insects, the diet is likely to include a range of other invertebrates, small vertebrates, the eggs and chicks of ground-nesting birds, and plant matter such as fruit (2) (3) (4) (6). Although most hedgehogs are solitary (3) (4), Brandt’s hedgehog has been known to congregate in large numbers at good feeding sites, with groups of up to 30 reported feeding on fallen dates (2). Like other hedgehogs, this species has poor eyesight, with food detected mainly by smell (2) (4) (6). When threatened, Brandt’s hedgehog may make peculiar jerking movements to deter predators (2).
Brandt’s hedgehog is not an active burrower (3), usually spending the day curled in a ball of debris, a hole in the ground, or a rock crevice (2) (6). Resting places are changed daily, but a female with young will tend to use the same nest until the young are old enough to follow on foot (6). Brandt’s hedgehog may hibernate during the cool season (5), and has also been reported to become less active during the hottest months, particularly in deserts (6). Most births are thought to occur in spring, with a litter size of three to four young (2) (3). The young Brandt’s hedgehog opens its eyes after around 21 days (2), and, like other young hedgehogs, is probably weaned by about six weeks (4). In captivity this species has lived to at least seven years (3).