Congratulations top top your brand-new snake! that a young! Wait, no… the a girl! Actually… who even knows?!

You see, numerous new snake owners (opens in a new tab) desire to uncover out exactly how to sex your snake, even if it is it it is in for breeding purposes or for naming purposes. However, the truth of the issue is…

Sexing a line is simpler said 보다 done!

You see, snake aren’t favor dogs, humans, or various other mammals. Their covert reproductive organs do it nearly impossible come tell males indigenous females based upon physical appearance.

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Some varieties display small, crucial differences between the genders. Usually, identify this takes a trained eye and also studying numerous comparison photos. Now, there room some surefire ways to identify the sex of your snake based on its inner anatomy – yet you may need to get an experienced involved.

Depending ~ above how details you need to be, let’s talk about how friend might have the ability to determine – or make an education guess – her snake’s gender!

Table that Contents

How to determine the Sex of your Snake

How Old walk a Snake need to Be to Tell that Gender?

Some of the techniques we will discuss can be used from day one of a snake’s life, and how the breeder or pet store determines the sex the the snake before selling it.

Other techniques (mainly the ones based upon external appearance) require that your snake get (or has nearly reached) sexual maturity.

Sexual maturity deserve to vary a little bit between different species but frequently falls into the two-to-four-year-old range.

How to determine the Sex of her Snake

From optimal to bottom, we’ll start from less reliable, beginner-friendly methods to surefire, expert-only ways of sexing a snake, or determining its gender.

Size and Appearance Differences, or sexual Dimorphism

This technique will depend heavily on the species of your snake.

Not all types of snake display screen sexual dimorphism or far-ranging size differences between the genders. Girlfriend will need to identify which details differences use to males and which ones apply to females for her species, even in those the do. Additionally, sexual dimorphism commonly isn’t obvious until the snake reaches sex-related maturity.

In ball pythons, females are slightly larger than males. In anacondas, females are approximately 4.7 times larger than males! Conversely, v rat snakes, males room typically approximately 14% bigger than females.

Some vipers screen a related trait referred to as sexual dichromatism, or various colors for males and also females. Europe adders are notorious for this trait, but there are other species, as well.

Buyer’s Tip: as soon as you have determined on which species you are going come purchase, or if you already have your snake, carry out some much more reading and photo evaluations to uncover out if the type of snake you very own displays any kind of sexual dimorphism.

Anal Spurs

Down ideal freaky deformity or sneaky secret weapon? Actually, anal spurs space neither. In truth, they’re the remnants the hind legs the specific varieties once had actually thousands the years back before evolution kicked in.

This method of sexing a snake usually isn’t an extremely reliable, yet it’s advantageous if you room only searching for an educated guess.

In numerous python and boa species, you will certainly see little “spurs” – bony remnants that the hind legs of their ancestors.

These look like rose thorns and also are uncovered on your snake’s belly, on the right and left next of her snake’s cloaca.

In many species, the spur on a male are much bigger and much more well-defined than a female’s spurs. Males will usage their spurs during combat with various other males and aid grab onto the female throughout mating.

Note that, due to the fact that spurs are the remnants of rear limbs, some snakes carry out NOT have visible spurs.

Only snakes the haven’t changed or evolved very much still exhibit this item of anatomy, like boas and also pythons. Rat snakes and other colubrids typically do not have them.

As aforementioned, this isn’t an extremely reliable method…

A female may have vast spurs, or a male can have tiny spurs. Just choose you and also I, each snake’s body composition is individual and unique.

If you space only looking for a marker so you can stop calling your scaly pal “it” and start calling lock “he” or “she,” this is a an excellent tool.

If you have actually your heart set on to buy a masculine or woman for reproduction purposes, carry out NOT depend on spurs alone.

Unless disappointment’s her thing…

Tail Shape

To the trained eye, this method of sexing a snake have the right to be VERY reliable.

However, that takes year of practice and also dozens of line to compare to consistently and also successfully recognize a snake’s gender based upon tail shape, alone. If you only own one snake, or you very own two snake of the very same gender, and also this is your very first attempt, you most likely will not have the ability to make any type of conclusions.

However, if you placed a male and also a female line side-by-side, there is a definitive difference in the shape of your tails.

The reproductive guts of male chrischona2015.orgs are dubbed hemipenes. Hemipenes space housed inside in the snake’s cloaca and also are essentially two penises.

Other species of, such as bearded dragons, likewise have hemipenes.

If you space looking in ~ a male snake’s tail, girlfriend may an alert these features:

A longer size to accommodate the hemipenes.Thicker close to the cloaca, then all of sudden tapers after ~ 8+ subcaudal scale or 2-3″, relying on the full length the the snake.

On the various other hand, a female’s tail is typically:

Shorter in comparisonEvenly tapered indigenous cloaca come tail tip.


Popping is usually much more successful once performed on younger and smaller snakes.

Older, bigger snakes generally have sufficient muscle ton to host their guts inside.

Too much pressure when popping deserve to injure a snake, therefore it’s right to have someone v experience show you just how to carry out this technique in human being at first.

Popping a line is accomplished by using firm but gentle pressure to your snake’s tail on the belly side, about three-quarters the the method from the cloaca to the tail tip. There is no releasing any type of of the force, you slide your ignorance up the snake’s tail towards its cloaca.

In males, this have the right to push the hemipenes up and out the the vent. They will pop out, looking prefer two red tubes. Nothing will certainly come the end if it’s a female.

Again, I must reiterate the this technique CAN it is in harmful if not done correctly.

You additionally run the danger of popping a “false female.” If the method is carry out incorrectly and there isn’t enough pressure, nothing will certainly pop out, also if the is a male.


Probing is the preferred an approach for any kind of intermediate to experienced level snake keeper. If you’ve never check this technique, it deserve to be beneficial to have an skilled keeper show you how it’s done.

There are additionally many youtube videos easily accessible that demonstrate the method.

You will must purchase a kit the probes explicitly designed because that performing this procedure. Some world use various other tools, yet that deserve to be unsafe. Luckily, the probes room reusable indefinitely.

The probe is sanitized, lubricated, then inserted downwards into the cloaca or vent, towards the tail tip, on the ideal or left side.

Please do NOT attempt to go up in the direction of the snake’s head, or right towards the snake’s spine.

There will be a little bit of resistance once you an initial insert the probe, but there should be no must apply any noticeable pressure as soon as you space inside.

If you room probing a female, you will certainly have entered one the her scent glands, and also you will only have the ability to insert the probe the indistinguishable depth of one to 3 subcaudal (bottom tail) scales. You will certainly be in one of the pockets that residence a hemipenis if you space probing a male. Girlfriend will have the ability to insert the probe the indistinguishable depth of nine to fifteen subcaudal scales, on average.

The pressure offered to insert the probe need to be really mild, and once that is inserted, you need to need to apply virtually no press to discover the end of the hemipenis or scent gland pocket.

It deserve to be basic to be squeamish about this method and assume the it is a perceptible area for a snake.

Still, most experienced holder have declared that your snakes don’t it seems to be ~ to react any more than they do to any kind of other procedure that calls for the animal to be restrained.

It is safer and more reliable than popping and is as whole the preferred method of determining a snake’s gender amongst snake caretakers.


An ultrasound is, without a doubt, the MOST foolproof method of identify a snake’s gender, albeit slightly end the top and also expensive because that the everyday hobby snake owner or breeder.

This an approach is frequently used by large zoos and animal parks, especially v snakes and other chrischona2015.orgs used in a conservation breeding program. In addition to identify the snake’s gender, ultrasound makers also allow veterinary staff and also keepers to view if a female line is emerging egg follicles and how much along lock are.

Some big-time line breeders have captured on to this benefits and also purchased a tiny ultrasound maker to use on their reproduction animals and also babies.

If girlfriend don’t desire to invest in one ultrasound an equipment and want visual check of a snake’s reproductive organs, you can also take her pet to your neighborhood exotic veterinarian, and they will have the ability to perform the ultrasound for you.

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Wrapping Up how to Sex a Snake

Now the you’re equipped through the knowledge and know-how that sexing your serpent, the next step is to decision which an approach sounds the most ideal for you and also proceed with the important steps.

Whether that way ordering her snake probe kit virtual or do an ultrasound appointment v your veterinarian, congratulations on the upcoming gender reveal of your snake!