Male vs Female Snake Tail Ball Python?

Sometimes snake owners want to know how to sex their snake. The problem is that it’s not as simple to find out if a snake is male or female as it is in many other animals. On the outside, male and female snakes look similar. However, with a bit of experience, there are ways to differentiate between the two.

The hemipenes are located just below the cloacal (vent) opening and down along the tail on either side of the snake‘s midline. Males will have a tail (the portion of the snake starting after the cloacal opening) that is thicker and longer than their female counterparts.

Female snakes have an overall thinner and shorter tail than a male and it tapers evenly to the tip.

How do you tell if a ball python is male or female by its tail?

You can look at the shape and length of the tail to help you decipher whether or not your snake is a male. Males will have a tail (the portion of the snake starting after the cloacal opening) that is thicker and longer than their female counterparts.

Is it better to get a male or female ball python?

If you are looking purely for a pet ball python than a normal (non morph) male will be your best bang for the buck. Many top breeders have a number of normal males for sale and even with shipping they will be a much better snake for someone new to snake keeping.

How can you tell a male from a female snake?

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.

You see, many new snake owners (opens in a new tab) want to find out how to sex their snake, whether it be for breeding purposes or for naming purposes. However, the truth of the matter is

Now, there are some surefire ways to determine the sex of your snake based on its internal anatomy but you may need to get an expert involved. Depending on how certain you need to be, lets discuss how you might be able to determine or make an educated guess your snakes gender!

Sexual maturity can vary a little bit between different species but typically falls into the two-to-four-year-old range . From top to bottom, well start from less reliable, beginner-friendly methods to surefire, expert-only ways of sexing a snake, or determining its gender. Not all types of snake display sexual dimorphism or significant size differences between the genders.

Some vipers display a related trait called sexual dichromatism , or different colors for males and females. In truth, theyre the remnants of hind legs that specific species once had thousands of years ago before evolution kicked in.This method of sexing a snake usually isnt very reliable, but its useful if you are only looking for an educated guess. Only snakes that havent changed or evolved very much still exhibit this piece of anatomy, like boas and pythons .

If you have your heart set on purchasing a male or female for breeding purposes, do NOT rely on spurs alone. However, if you put a male and a female snake side-by-side, there is a definitive difference in the shape of their tails. Thicker near the cloaca, then suddenly tapers after 8+ subcaudal scales or 2-3, depending on the total length of the snake.

Older, larger snakes generally have enough muscle tone to hold their organs inside. Too much pressure while popping can injure a snake, so its ideal to have someone with experience show you how to perform this technique in person at first. Probing is the preferred method for any intermediate to expert level snake keeper.

The probe is sanitized, lubricated, then inserted downwards into the cloaca or vent, towards the tail tip, on the right or left side. There will be a bit of resistance when you first insert the probe, but there should be no need to apply any noticeable pressure once you are inside. You will be able to insert the probe the equivalent depth of nine to fifteen subcaudal scales, on average.

Still, most experienced keepers have stated that their snakes dont seem to react any more than they do to any other procedure that requires the animal to be restrained. This method is commonly used by large zoos and animal parks, especially with snakes and other reptiles utilized in a conservation breeding program.

Aside from differences in length, there are no other external markers that reliably discern between male and female ball pythons. The most widely accepted methods of ball python sexing are known as popping and probing.

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.

Tail Characteristics

Male snakes have a pair of tube-shaped hemipenes (sex organs) that normally sit inside their bodies. They are basically two small penises that are kept safe inside the snake‘s tail. Female snakes do not have hemipenes.The hemipenes are located just below the cloacal (vent) opening and down along the tail on either side of the snake‘s midline. Since these sex organs are housed inside the male snake, they may not be obvious to you at first. There are visible clues that they are there, though. You can look at the shape and length of the tail to help you decipher whether or not your snake is a male.Males will have a tail (the portion of the snake starting after the cloacal opening) that is thicker and longer than their female counterparts. It also tapers differently—starting out thick and then suddenly thinning out to the tip. Female snakes have an overall thinner and shorter tail than a male and it tapers evenly to the tip.While the differences can be fairly notable when comparing snakes side by side, it is more difficult to sex a snake if you don’t have a male and a female to compare. This is why the following methods are more commonly used to accurately identify a snake‘s sex than looking at tail characteristics.

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.