A nocturnal animal, the long-eared hedgehog may wander up to nine kilometres at night in search of food (5). It has a varied diet, including insects, small vertebrates, eggs, fruit, seeds and carrion, but, incredibly, this mammal is also able to survive without food or water for up to ten weeks (4).
The long-eared hedgehog spends the daytime in a burrow, either an existing burrow dug by another animal, or one that has been dug by the hedgehog. Measuring up to 150 centimetres deep, these burrows are frequently found beneath small bushes and possess only one opening, with a single individual inhabiting each burrow. However, these burrows are expanded during the breeding season to ensure ample space for the young (4) (5).
The long-eared hedgehog generally only breeds once a year, usually between the months of July and September, during which time the female gives birth to a litter of one to four offspring after a gestation period of 35 to 42 days. The offspring are born almost completely naked apart from the odd spine which is initially very soft. These spines grow rapidly and just five hours after birth may have almost quadrupled in size. The young open their eyes one week after birth, and after just two weeks the young are fully covered with spines. Able to eat solid food three weeks after birth, the young are weaned after about one month and are sexually mature at just six weeks old (4) (5). The long-eared hedgehog has been recorded living for over six years in captivity (4).
In the colder parts of its range, the long-eared hedgehog may hibernate for up to 3.5 months over winter. It has also been known to enter a hibernation-like state during food shortages in the summer (4) (5).