Female Red Eared Slider?

It is often difficult to determine the gender of a pet turtle, especially if you did not purchase it from a breeder that hatched them from controlled temperature environments. The temperature during egg incubation is what determines whether an embryo will become a male or female; cooler incubation temperatures produce males and females develop in warmer temperatures.

Males (and specifically redeared sliders and other aquatic turtles ) have much longer claws on their front feet than females. All redeared sliders have predominantly green bodies suffused with bright yellow streaking, which won’t help distinguish males from females.

Why is it illegal to have a red eared slider?

Since 1975, however, selling baby turtles that are less than 4 inches long has been illegal in the U.S., because some reptiles—red-eared sliders included—can harbor salmonella on their skin.

How big does a female red eared slider get?

Full grown adults that have been raised with plenty of space available to them can reach 12 inches in length, with females usually being larger in size. There are rare instances of adult red-eared sliders growing larger than 12 inches. Red-eared sliders can live a long life in captivity.

How long do female red-eared sliders live?

The carapace of this species can reach more than 40 cm (16 in) in length, but the typical length ranges from 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in). The females of the species are usually larger than the males. They typically live between 20 and 30 years, although some individuals have lived for more than 40 years.

Turtles are beautiful creatures, but it can be tough to determine what their gender is. After all, turtles have large shells that cover their genitals. So, you cannot typically look at a turtle and know what sex they are right away, like you could a cat or a dog. Luckily, there are a few telltale signs that you can look for to determine whether a red eared slider turtle is a male or a female.

Image Credit: zoosnow, Pixabay If you are not buying a turtle from a breeder who can tell you the sex, you will have to do a little detective work. Turtles go through many changes while growing up from babies into adults, which can make trying to determine their sex confusing until they are fully mature.

Once a red eared slider turtle reaches maturity, their shell may provide the clues that you need to determine their sex.

The majority of redeared slider owners will never worry about knowing the sex of their pet, except for curiosity. As long as your turtle is healthy and happy, then sex isnt important.

In the event you want to breed your redeared sliders, then you will want to know the sex to ensure you get males and females together to fertilize the eggs. Some redeared slider owners will want to house multiple pets together with a host of genders.

Should you have more than one male in the tank, you want to provide more space with ample caves and basking areas. You can identify the gender of your redeared slider relatively easily from birth, whether you buy from a reputable breeder or from the local pet shop. If you dont know what to look for, identifying the gender of your redeared slider can be daunting, especially if you havent purchased it from a breeder.

Luckily redeared sliders are one of the reptiles which are relatively easy to sex with distinct differences regarding size and appearance. The bottom of the shell is called the plastron and a great way to identify gender in your redeared slider. The easiest and most common way to determine if your redeared slider is male or female is to look at its tail length.

The males vent (cloaca) is located close to the end of the tail when compared to a female. Using the tail to determine gender is one of the easiest ways to see if you have male or female turtles on your hands. Redeared sliders are green-bodied with bright yellow streaks, which doesnt help tell the difference between males and females.

Once your pet reaches maturity, identifying the gender will be much easier and more obvious to the naked eye.

If you own a pet turtle, at some point, you will definitely want to know if its a male or a female. Finding out the gender of a Red Eared Slider can sometimes be a little tricky, but with this short guide, you will be able to easily tell if a Red Eared Slider is male or female.

This is probably one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a male and a female red eared slider turtle. Photo by Jim, the Photographer on Flickr Male Red Eared Slider.

Photo by Sathish J on Flickr This is a simple and efficient method to determine the gender of your turtle. Male and female red eared sliders have slightly different tails. Photo by Jon Sullivan on Flickr In most cases, female red eared sliders will get considerably bigger than males.

Photo by D.Fletcher on Flickr This method works at its best if you want to compare two turtles that you know are about the same age. Another way you can use this method is the following: If you own or find a red eared slider turtle, you can measure it, if the shell is bigger than 10 inches (25 centimeters) then you can definitely say its a female, if that is not the case then its a male. During the majority of their lives, both male and female eared sliders turtles have almost the same color tones, but once they start reaching the last years of their life their colors will gradually start to darken.

Photos by braindamaged217 on Flickr This method is only useful on old turtles, so if you want to identify the gender of a young red eared slider, this might not be the best option. The cloaca is a small orifice that allows turtles to breath underwater, and its also used to lay eggs and a few other things. Taking care of a female turtle that is about to lay eggs is not very hard, you barely have to do anything, so dont worry about this part.

And the female turtle will eat a little more since she is bigger but not by a noticeable amount so dont worry about that. The difference is so big because there are a lot of predators and other dangerous things in the wild that will end up hurting the turtle, thus reducing their lifespan.

Using Claw Length to Determine Gender

Female turtles often have claws on their front feet that are short and stubby. Males (and specifically redeared sliders and other aquatic turtles) have much longer claws on their front feet than females. This is because males utilize their claws when they are attempting to woo females to breed. During mating, the males will also grab the female‘s upper shells by using their long claws.

Using Tails to Determine Gender

The most common way to determine gender in a turtle is to look at the length of its tail. Female turtles have short and skinny tails while males sport long, thick tails, with their vent (cloaca) positioned closer to the end of the tail when compared to a female. It is, of course, easiest to determine the gender of a turtle when looking at its tail length if you have multiple turtles of both sexes to compare.

Breeders Should Know the Sex

The way that a turtle’s sex is determined is fascinating. Turtles become male when incubating in eggs that are in cooler temperatures. Turtles that become female incubate in eggs that are in warmer temperatures. People who breed red eared slider turtles should be able to tell you the gender of any turtles born under their care because they will have known the temperatures in which they were incubating. So, if you are buying one of these turtles from a breeder, you should be able to find out their sex immediately, without having to look for signs yourself.

Maturity Is a Must

If you are not buying a turtle from a breeder who can tell you the sex, you will have to do a little detective work. Turtles go through many changes while growing up from babies into adults, which can make trying to determine their sex confusing until they are fully mature.Male red eared slider turtles reach maturity between 2 and 5 years old, when they are about 4 inches long. Female turtles reach maturity between 5 and 7 years of age, when they are about 6 inches long. So, you may have to wait a while to determine your turtle’s sex depending on their age now.

The Shell

Once a red eared slider turtle reaches maturity, their shell may provide the clues that you need to determine their sex. Fully grown female red eared slider turtles have larger shells than males, so if you have multiple turtles to compare to each other, their shell size could help you identify their sex. Also, the bottom of their shells can provide sex clues. The bottom of the shell of a male is concave, while a female’s shell is flat. The idea is for males to be able to mount their female partners for easy reproduction when the time comes.

The Tail

The tail is usually an easy indicator of sex when these turtles become mature. Female red eared slider turtles have short, skinny tails. Males have longer, thicker tails. The tail vent is positioned closer to the end on males than on females. The tail size difference is not dramatic, so multiple turtles should be compared when using this sex identity method. However, an expert in your area might be able to tell your turtle’s sex based on their tail without comparing it to others.

Claw Length

Simply put, male red eared slider turtles have much longer nails than females on their front feet. The reason for this is for mating purposes. Males use their long claws to get the attention of females by scratching their shells. They also use their claws to hold on to the upper shell of a female when mounting them to reproduce.

Markings

As red eared slider turtles age, their green shells with yellow streaking start to darken up. Some turn so dark that they look charcoal or black, overwhelming their yellow streaks. This dark color tends to indicate males, as females do not usually turn so dark that their yellow streaking disappears.

Naming

In most cases, redeared slider owners are more curious than anything else on what gender their turtle is.When you want to name your new pet, knowing its gender can help you give it an appropriate name, especially seeing this is going to be your pet for between twenty to thirty years, with some redeared sliders living up to forty.

Breeding

In the event you want to breed your redeared sliders, then you will want to know the sex to ensure you get males and females together to fertilize the eggs.

Egg Laying

Once they reach sexual maturity, female redeared sliders may lay eggs, she also may present laying behaviors. This is not seen in males.When the female is laying, she will slow on her eating and will become more active. She will start digging.Males on the other hand to not display any of these behaviors.

Aggression and Space

Some redeared slider owners will want to house multiple pets together with a host of genders. It is important to note that male sliders are territorial against other males.Should you have more than one male in the tank, you want to provide more space with ample caves and basking areas.
You can identify the gender of your redeared slider relatively easily from birth, whether you buy from a reputable breeder or from the local pet shop. There are some telltale signs that can assist you.It is important to note that male redeared sliders only reach sexual maturity at around 4 inches in length, which is when they reach between 2 and 5 years.Females, on the other hand, reach sexual maturity when they reach around 7 inches, which is 5 to 7 years of age.If you don’t know what to look for, identifying the gender of your redeared slider can be daunting, especially if you haven’t purchased it from a breeder.What you may not know is that the incubation temperatures used in the hatching of the eggs determine whether the embryo becomes male or female. A cool incubation produces males, while warmer temperatures produce females.Luckily redeared sliders are one of the reptiles which are relatively easy to sex with distinct differences regarding size and appearance.

Size and Shape

You will find that the size differences between the male and female redeared slider may not be obvious until they reach sexual maturity, which is around 2 to 5 years for males and 5 to 7 years for females.Once they reach maturity, there is around a 4-inch / 10-centimeter difference between males and females with females being larger than the male.Male redeared sliders grow to between 5 and 9 inches (13 to 23cm), while females can grow up to 12 to 13 inches (30 to 33cm).

Shell Shape

Do not turn your redeared slider over to look below the shell, but rather hold it in the air and look up at the shell. The bottom of the shell is called the plastron and a great way to identify gender in your redeared slider.Males have a concave plastron which curves in, while females are flat. The shape enables the male to mount the female during mating, while also giving the female adequate space to store her eggs internally.

Claw Length

Male redeared sliders have longer claws on their front feet than the females. Females have short and stubby claws.The reason for this is that the male’s claws help them attract females during mating season. Males will use the claws to hold on to the upper shell of the female during mating.

Tail

The easiest and most common way to determine if your redeared slider is male or female is to look at its tail length.Females have short, skinny tails, while males have thicker and longer tails. The male’s vent (cloaca) is located close to the end of the tail when compared to a female.Using the tail to determine gender is one of the easiest ways to see if you have male or female turtles on your hands.

Shape of the Shell

Male and female red eared sliders have slightly different shell shapes. But the place where they differ is not exactly the shell, the place where they are different is called the plastron. The plastron is the bottom part of the shell. The upper part is called the carapace, and together they are referred to as the shell.Female red eared sliders have a flat plastron, while male red eared sliders have a concave plastron. This shape difference allows males to climb on top of females while they are mating.Females also have a benefit from the flat shape of the plastron, the fact that their plastron is flat and not indented allows them to carry more eggs.In this picture, you can see multiple red eared sliders. But the second one from the left and the last one from the right have a more concave shape than the rest. I know this kind of thing can be a little hard to tell from a photo but in reality, is really easy to tell.In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to tell if a red eared slider is male or female, it’s really easy to tell the difference and the difference can be observed from a relatively young age.

Length of the Claws

This is probably one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a male and a female red eared slider turtle. Males have considerably larger claws than females.They use their long claws to attract females during the mating season, and they also use them to get on top of the female when they reproduce.Here are two pictures so you can get a better idea of the difference.

Length and Shape of the Tail

This is a simple and efficient method to determine the gender of your turtle.Male and female red eared sliders have slightly different tails. Males have long and thin tails, while females have shorter and denser tails.

Size of the Turtle

In most cases, female red eared sliders will get considerably bigger than males. On average a female will reach sizes between 12 and 14 inches (30 and 35 centimeters), while males usually reach sizes between 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters).This method works at its best if you want to compare two turtles that you know are about the same age. If two turtles were born at about the same time and one is considerably bigger than the other, then the bigger one is the female.Another way you can use this method is the following: If you own or find a red eared slider turtle, you can measure it, if the shell is bigger than 10 inches (25 centimeters) then you can definitely say it’s a female, if that is not the case then it’s a male.

Color of the Turtle

During the majority of their lives, both male and female eared sliders turtles have almost the same color tones, but once they start reaching the last years of their life their colors will gradually start to darken. This is especially noticeable in males.This method is only useful on old turtles, so if you want to identify the gender of a young red eared slider, this might not be the best option.

Position of the Cloaca

The cloaca is a small orifice that allows turtles to “breath underwater”, and it’s also used to lay eggs and a few other things. All red eared sliders have a cloaca, and depending on their gender they might use it for some things that the other gender can’t do, like laying eggs, but they are also positioned in different places. Females have the cloaca positioned at the base of their tail, while males have it positioned near the tip of the tail.I decided not to post pictures of the cloaca because they can be considered gross by some people, and I also think that that drawing does a better job at pointing out where the cloaca is than a picture. If you want to see a cloaca, but you don’t own a turtle, here are a couple of links that will show you a cloaca up close: