Multiple paternity in the European hedgehog


  • Editor: Jean-Nicolas Volff

Siobhan Moran, Department of Chemical & Life Sciences, Waterford Institute of Technology, Cork Road, Waterford, Ireland.


Previous observations have suggested that European hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus are promiscuous, although there have been no direct studies of the mating system to confirm this. In this study, the genetic mating system of the European hedgehog was assessed by analysing mother–offspring groups using six polymorphic microsatellite loci. Evidence of multiple paternity was found in two of five litters analysed and therefore demonstrates the occurrence of polyandry in wild populations of hedgehogs.