How to Tell if a Snake Is Male or Female?

Figuring out how to sex a snake is something that many owners struggle with. There are many different techniques you can use, but not all of them are viable (depending on the situation).

Learning how to sex a snake reliably and accurately requires you to take the situation into account. In other species of snakes, males and females can be distinguished based on the colors they display.

Male and female European adders, banded rock rattlesnakes, and plenty of other species can be differentiated by their color. If you happen to have a species that exhibits sexual dimorphism, this can make it really easy to tell if your snake is a male or a female. The hemipenes are tubular-shaped organs that sit inside the snakes body just below the cloacal opening.

On certain species of snakes you may see anal spurs, which are bony remnants of the hind legs that look like rose thorns. Anal spurs are located on a snakes stomach (on the left and right side of the cloaca). On most species of pet snakes , a males anal spurs are significantly larger and more well-defined than a females.

Professional 5-Piece Snake Probe Kit High-quality tools produce accurate measurements Smooth ball tip design maximizes the comfort of your snake 4 different sized probes included Made from non-toxic materials Youll be performing this procedure on your snake when they are awake, and they typically dont cooperate. To perform this procedure, sanitize and lubricate the probe before inserting it into your snakes cloacal opening on the right or left side, aiming towards the tip of the tail.

Larger and older snakes typically have enough muscle tone to hold their hemipenes inside. Popping is done by using a finger to place firm but gentle pressure about three-fourths of the way down the tail on the belly side of the snake. Some experienced owners and breeders have great success with it, but if youre not familiar with this technique then its something you should avoid.

Though an ultrasound may be over-the-top for hobby breeders or keepers, this method is often used in animal parks, zoos, and conservation breeding programs. With this information, breeders can determine the optimal time to begin the mating process.

How can you tell a male snake from a female?

You may be able to tell what gender your snake is by the shape of their tail. Male snakes have reproductive organs called hemipenes. The hemipenes are tubular-shaped organs that sit inside the snake’s body just below the cloacal opening. As a result, a male snake’s tail is usually thicker and longer than a female’s.

How can you tell the gender of a ball python?

When telling a ball python’s gender without probing, the tail is the place to look. A male ball python’s tail is thicker until the end, while the female’s tail is thin and tapers off more gradually. You may also be able to look for spurs at the end of the python’s tail, and the males’ are bigger.

How in the world do you tell whether a snake is male or female? It is so difficult, right? Well, I did some research on the topic and have written it down to share with you.

If this does not clearly show the difference, a probe can be inserted in the slit in front of the tail to feel for a hemipenes. Because females lack hemipenes, their tails are skinnier and fade evenly to the point.

Probing is a process that involves sticking an instrument into your snakes cloaca to determine if there are hemipenes or not. Manufactures make snake probes that can be bought in pet stores or online at places like Amazon. On a female snake, the probe will be stopped against a harder surface approximately 3 scales in.

On a male snake, the probe will find one of the two hemipenes and will slide into a softer stop. Here and here I listed a few links to some nice snake probs that have really good reviews. For these reasons it is suggested that you stick to probing your snakes to find their genders.

As she is moving about during her day she will begin to leave an odor trail as she pushes off of resistance points in the ground. Once she is ready to mate, the male snake will wrap the bottom of his tail around hers so that their vents or cloaca are touching. At this point, the male will insert his hemipenes or penises into the female and will release his sperm.

Most snakes become sexually active after the winter when the warmth of spring happens, so you will want to recreate this in your home. After a cooling period of about 60-90 days (preferably 90) you can return your snakes to their natural habitat and begin feeding them small consistent meals. Typically what happens is a female garter snake will come out of hibernation a few days after the males and will put off her pheromones.

Some males may try to suffocate the female, forcing her to open her cloaca to release waste and then mate with her. Sometimes a female snake will lay a clutch of eggs that have not been fertilized by male sperm. It is safe and fine to check the own gender of your snake if you feel confident, have the right tools, and have help.

A ball python is a type of constrictor snake that gets its name from its tendency to curl up in a ball with its head protected in the center when threatened. There aren’t obvious difference between male and female ball python, but there are times when it’s important to know the difference, such as when you’re housing two snakes together and don’t want babies in your future.

Wrap a measuring tape around your snake‘s body to determine its circumference. Divide the largest circumference by pi, or 3.14, to find the snake‘s diameter.

Take your snake to a vet so he can perform a cloacal probe or popping test.

Sexing snakes is not straightforward. They dont present much sexual dimorphism (visual differences between the sexes). The only noticeable differences between male and female snakes are on the inside.

There are visual ways of identifying male and female snakes, but the differences vary between species and are not always accurate. The cloaca serves two main purposes: snakes urinate and defecate out of it, and it contains their sexual organs.

When ready to mate, the males hemipenes pop out of the cloaca and he inserts them into the female. It requires the insertion of a thin, metal sexing probe into the snakes cloaca, and measuring how deep it goes. A deeper probe indicates the presence of hemipenis pockets, meaning that the snake is male.

Many people mistakenly identify their snakes as female because they havent got the technique quite right. The difference can range from quite extreme (hognose snakes) to more subtle (ball pythons). According to the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society , tapering of the tail is due to snakes reproductive anatomy.

SexBall PythonBoa Constrictor Male2-3 feet3-5 feetFemale6-8 feet7-10 feetMeasuring the snake might give you some idea of whether its male or female. In some species of snake, such as colubrids, males and females are equal in size.

Factor In Their General Appearance

Sometimes you can visually determine the gender of a snake based on their physical appearance.If you happen to have a species that exhibits sexual dimorphism, this can make it really easy to tell if your snake is a male or a female.

Look At The Tail

You may be able to tell what gender your snake is by the shape of their tail.Male snakes have reproductive organs called hemipenes. The hemipenes are tubular-shaped organs that sit inside the snake’s body just below the cloacal opening. As a result, a male snake’s tail is usually thicker and longer than a female’s.A male snake’s tail also tapers differently than a female’s. A male snake’s tail starts out thick and suddenly comes to a point at the end whereas a female snake’s tail tapers gradually to the tip.While tail differences can easily be seen when a male and female snake are side by side, it can be difficult to determine the gender of a single snake by their tail, especially for beginners. It can also be challenging to sex a snake using this method when they’re quite young.

Inspect The Anal Spurs

Looking at a snake’s anal spurs is not a foolproof way to tell if your snake is male or female. However, you can make an educated guess as to the gender of your snake using this method.On certain species of snakes you may see anal spurs, which are bony remnants of the hind legs that look like rose thorns. Anal spurs are located on a snake’s stomach (on the left and right side of the cloaca).On most species of pet snakes, a male’s anal spurs are significantly larger and more well-defined than a female’s. Male snakes use their spurs when they fight with other males and to hold onto females while they mate.Some species do not have visible spurs. Only snakes that haven’t evolved very much still have visible spurs (such as pythons and boas).Even if a snake has visible anal spurs, this method of determining a snake’s gender isn’t very reliable. Just like humans, snakes’ bodies are unique. One male may have large spurs while another has tiny spurs. Likewise, female snakes can have large or small spurs.

Try Popping

While it may be easy to tell the difference between a male and female snake when they are side by side, determining a snake’s gender can be rather difficult based on appearance in many cases. That’s why probing is the preferred method of determining a snake’s gender by experienced keepers.For this method, you will need a special tool called a snake probe. Make sure you have the appropriate-sized probe before you begin, since a probe that is too big can injure your snake. You can purchase snake probe kits with several probes of varying sizes in pet stores or online (below is one that we like).It’s also a good idea to have another person present to hold your snake while you probe them. You’ll be performing this procedure on your snake when they are awake, and they typically don’t cooperate.To perform this procedure, sanitize and lubricate the probe before inserting it into your snake’s cloacal opening on the right or left side, aiming towards the tip of the tail. You should not need to exert much pressure when probing your snake. Once you have determined the gender of your snake, gently and slowly pull the probe out.If you are probing a female, you will enter one of her scent glands, and the probe will only go in the equivalent depth of one to three scales. If you are probing a male, you will enter one of his hemipenes, and the probe will be able to be inserted the equivalent of nine to 15 scales.

Get An Ultrasound

Without a doubt, an ultrasound is the most reliable way to figure out if your snake is a male or a female. Though an ultrasound may be over-the-top for hobby breeders or keepers, this method is often used in animal parks, zoos, and conservation breeding programs.An ultrasound is not only useful in determining a snake’s gender, this procedure allows veterinarians to see if a female snake is developing egg follicles. If this is the case, an ultrasound will also allow them to see how far along they are. This information is invaluable to breeders. With this information, breeders can determine the optimal time to begin the mating process.

Popping Hemipenes (Caution!)

The first way and the best way to find the sex of your snake is to use a technique that is called probing. Probing is a process that involves sticking an instrument into your snakes’ cloaca to determine if there are hemipenes or not.To succeed in this technique it is importantIt is important that when you go to probe a snake you make sure you have the correct sized prob, and that you have a rounded tip on your probe. Make sure that before probing your snake, you have figured out which size ofWhen Probing a snake you must always remember theseOnce you have these 5 steps down, probing can actually beThen, locate the cloaca and slowly insert the probe. You will want to do this, slowly and gently, spinning the probe so that it is slowly moving forward. On a female snake, the probe will be stopped against a harder surface approximately 3 scales in.On a male snake, the probe will find one of the two hemipenes and will slide into a softer stop. On a male snake, the probe should go into the snake to about 9 scales. Once you have figured out if it is male or female, slowly remove the probe.Once again it is so imperative that you use the right sized probe in order to make sure you do not hurt your snake. Here and here I listed a few links to some nice snake probs that have really good reviews.

Pros and Cons for Male Snakes

A lot of people wonder if there is even a difference in owning female snakes compared to male snakes, and vice versa.The answer is that in general there isn’t a huge difference, but there are some pretty interesting details that make some people prefer owning male snakes or female snakes.

Pros and Cons for Female Snakes

As was stated in the previous section, unless you are a breeder there are very few reasons that one should buy a male snake over a female snake, but as stated before there are a few, so here is a list of the pros and cons about getting a female snake.

How do Snakes Mate in the Wild?

Snakes are like all other reptiles andAs she is moving about during her day she will begin to leave anOnce he has spotted the female he will begin toAt this point, the male will insert his hemipenes’ or penises into the female and will release his sperm. Although sex for snakes generally takes about an hour, it can actually last all day.Female snakes reproduce aboutThere areLike always though, there are a few exceptions to that rule. The second way that snakes produce their offspring is in live births. Not a lot of snake breeds do this but a few that do are certain types of Vipers and Boas.The third way that snakes produce their offspring is actually a combination of the two. They have eggs but hold them internally until they hatch and then have a live birth. Rattlesnakes experience this form of pregnancy and birth.

Other Types of Snake Mating

Although most snake mate one on one there are a few species that mate in what is called a mating ball. This technique is rather specific to garter snakes and a few anacondas.Typically what happens is a female garter snake will come out of hibernation a few days after the males and will put off her pheromones. When other male garter snakes smell those pheromones they will all swarm the female snake and surround her in a ball.During this period all the males are vying for the female to mate with them. Some males may try to suffocate the female, forcing her to open her cloaca to release waste and then mate with her. This is a unique way for snakes to mate and is not very common among any other species.

Step 1

Lay your adult snake out straight, sliding him into a clear plastic tube if necessary. Cap the end of the tube to prevent escape, and make sure the diameter of the tube matches the snake‘s diameter. Measure the snake from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Females often grow to 4 1/2 feet long, although they can be as long as 6 feet. Males typically stay around 3 1/2 feet long.

Step 2

Wrap a measuring tape around your snake‘s body to determine its circumference. Check it in three or four places to find the widest area. Divide the largest circumference by pi, or 3.14, to find the snake‘s diameter. Adult female snakes can have a diameter of up to 6 inches, while males tend to be smaller, staying closer to a 4-inch diameter.

Step 3

Flip the snake over and look at the cloaca, or the opening near the base of the tail. Make sure his body is supported, either by laying him on a flat surface or letting him wrap securely around your body. Examine the small, curved spurs on either side of the cloaca. Male spurs tend to be longer than female spurs because they use them to hold the females during mating.

Sexing Snakes

Male and female cloacas look exactly the same from the outside. It’s only internally that the differences can be found, which makes like more difficult. To find out these differences, there are two main methods.Both of these methods must only be attempted by experienced snake keepers. If you’ve never probed or popped a snake before, ask a veterinarian or herpetologist to help you.

Cloacal Popping

Probing is the most intrusive way of sexing snakes, but also the most accurate. It requires the insertion of a thin, metal “sexing probe” into the snake’s cloaca, and measuring how deep it goes. A deeper probe indicates the presence of “hemipenis pockets,” meaning that the snake is male.If the probe was able to be inserted further than the width of your snake, your snake is male. If the probe went down only two or three scales, it’s probably a female.

Do Male and Female Snakes Look Different?

Some species look almost identical regardless of gender, whereas others have major differences. Here are 3 different ways that you can get an idea of your snake’s gender by looking at it:

Pelvic Spurs

Because of the differences in male and female snake anatomy, their tails look slightly different. The difference can range from quite extreme (hognose snakes) to more subtle (ball pythons).Male snakes tend to have longer tails than female snakes. Their tails also taper (become thinner) much more gradually. Females tend to have shorter tails that taper off abruptly after the cloaca.According to the