How do you determine the gender of a snake?

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How do you determine the gender of a snake?

Cynthia Starnes

Votes: 2169

I’m sure there are major differences between various species, but it’s fairly simple with ball pythons. The anal area on the male ball python reveals two small claw like extensions that are used to stimulate the same area in the female. During breeding times, they are used to “scratch ” the females ” area ” to stimulate breeding. The more mature snakes claws are more visible but a microscope can be used on a youngster. I was interested in breeding at one time so I acquired this tidbit of knowledge! I also found out that the natural habitat must be simulated and I was not prepared to duplicate the rainforests barometric pressure and humidity in my home!!

Jason Sarasti

Votes: 9059

If they aren’t fully gown, you can’t. If they are fully grown (or are at least adolescents), you can do something called “probing”, where you literally stick a rod up their cloaca (the cloaca is the hole birds and reptiles lay eggs from and poo out of; its essentially a vagina and butt hole all in one).

If the probe doesn’t go in very far, it’s a female. If it does go in far, it’s a male. The reason the probe can be put further in male snakes is because they have a space for their hemipenes, which is essentially the reptile version of a penis. Female snakes obviously don’t have this space since they have no hemipenes.

This probing technique can only be done when the snake is of a certain age. Before that age, male and female snakes are sexually indistinguishable and can only be differentiated if you do a DNA test.

If the snake is an adult, sometimes you can tell it’s sex if the specific species is sexually dimorphic. In 95% of snake species, females are considerably larger than males as adults. Take the longest snake in the world, the reticulated python, for example. Adult female Retics are on average about a full third longer than the average male. This is true of almost all snake species, with a few exceptions like cobras and cobra-like elapids.

Unfortunately though, sexing snakes is often times a crapshoot. When I got my first snake (a ball python) he was a hatchling and I had absolutely no idea what gender he was. I essentially flipped a coin and assumed he was a male, naming him Shadow (which fortunately is a unisex name). After he was about 2 years old, I got him probed by a snake breeder and found out that he was in fact male, so my initial guess was right. There are plenty of times where that guess is wrong though.

There are a couple of very popular reptile educators on YouTube called Snake Discovery (link below) who recently bred a pair of bull snakes. The mother and father were named Brad and Janet respectively.

Yes, you read that right. The mother was named Brad and the father was named Janet. That’s because they got both snakes as hatchlings and flipped a coin when it came to their sexes. They assumed Brad was a boy and Janet was a girl. They unfortunately assumed wrong. By the time the snakes were fully grown and could be sexed, they had already been named Brad and Janet for a while, so they didn’t bother changing their names. But it goes to show that snake sexing is not always something that can be done with accuracy based purely on observation. Without DNA, its 75% guesswork.

Snake Discovery YouTube channel: Snake Discovery

Sue Smith

Votes: 681

I just got a baby rat snake. What’s the best way to determine the gender?

The only surefire way to determine its sex would be to take it to a vet or a breeder of exotic animals . Another far less infallible way is to look at your pets tail tip . Male snakes have a very thin and tapered tip , females are shorter and rounder . However if you want to breed your snake you will need to be sure of its gender , and you will need professional advice …Hope that helped a little ⁉️

Kunal Dhope

Votes: 1258

There are 3 methods to determine the gender of Snake.1) Popping:-With the snake’s belly up, look at the tail of the snake. Find the opening (vent / cloaca) that is a few inches from the tip of the tail. Place your thumb under the cloaca, apply gentle pressure toward the vent. Use your other thumb to apply pressure. Moving from the tip of the tail towards the cloaca, apply gentle pressure . You are gently squeezing it toward the cloaca The increased internal pressure in the base of the tail generated by the pressure of the thumb causes the “hemipenes” of the males to pop out.You’ll see two little pink or red tubes popped out of the opening if it is a male.A female won’t have these tubes.

2) Probing:-This method is often considered the most accurate.The gender of an adult snake can be determined by introducing a smooth, blunt, lubricated slender probe into its cloaca, and pushing the probe against the posterior wall of the cloaca to see if it can be freely and gently pushed into the base of the tail. You don’t want to push too hard, as you can hurt the snake. letting it go as far as it will without too much pressure.Examine how far the probe went in. Count how many scales the probe went in.If it only went in a couple of scales, it’s likely a female. If it went in 8 to 16 scales, it’s likely a male. 3) Length of the tail:-Find the cloaca opening. Look at the girth. In a female snake, the body of the snake will immediately taper after the vent, going towards the tip of the tail. In a male snake, generally the tail will stay the same girth for an inch or two before tapering.Males will also be longer from the cloaca to the tip, but that is difficult to distinguish if you don’t have another snake for a comparison.You can get detail information in bellow reference linksReferences:- 1)

Adan Chughtai

Votes: 5495

Male snakes have a pair of hemipenes (sex organs) that normally sit inside their bodies and are shaped like tubes. They are located just below the cloacal (vent) opening and down along the tail on either side of the snake’s midline. The hemipenes are basically two small penises that are kept safe inside the snake’s tail. Female snakes do not have hemipenes.

Since these sex organs are housed inside the male snake, they may not be obvious to you, but there are visible clues that they are there. Because of the presence of the hemipenes, 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 tail is considered the portion of the snake starting after the cloacal opening) that is thicker and longer than their female counterparts and also tapers differently. It will be thick and then suddenly thin out to the tip.

The female snakes have an overall thinner and shorter tail than a male has. It tapers evenly to the tip.

Girija Devi

Votes: 4321

How do you identify a male and female snake?

Observing the tail we can identify the gender of a snake. The length, thickness of tails determine whether the snake is female or male.

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.


Cloaca : In animal anatomy, a cloaca is the posterior orifice that serves as the only opening for the digestive, reproductive, and urinary tracts of many vertebrate animals, opening at the vent.

Jeff Spaeth

Votes: 8913

The hemipenes of males takes up more room below the cloaca and results in less tapering than what is seen in females when compared side by side…which sometimes is the only way to see and learn the minute details necessary to make the right call.

Females are very often bigger than their male counterparts.

I always believed males have shorter tails but i am not sure about this because they might need the extra length to wrap around the female during coitus… but they are just a bit “fatter” just below the cloaca.

Jonathan Reiter

Votes: 4535

I just got a baby rat snake. What’s the best way to determine the gender?

Grope it and see if it files a greivence.

Seriously, Google how to determine the sex of a snake. You’ll see that if you palpate the claoca, so, and bend the tip over your finger, two little nodes will pop up. If so , it’s a boy!

Christian Schaefer

Votes: 8431

It depends on the species. Some can be determined by the length of the tail in relation to the body. Others can be determined by their overall length as adults. Others however have to be probed.

Michael Bland

Votes: 9797

How can you tell if your snake is a female or male?

Say something mean to it and if in 6 weeks time it brings it back up in a totally separate argument then it is 100% female.

Zephr Hammond

Votes: 1754

In the world of snakes or other animals there is a substance called pheromones which is secreted by the female during mating season and hence helps the male to know about her.

Donna Fernstrom

Votes: 1062

Females usually grow larger (there are exceptions). There aren’t any temperament differences – for temperament, go with a breeder who pays attention to the personalities of the offspring they produce. Usually a smaller breeder who selects for temperament will be able to give you that kind of information. (Of course, never buy reptiles from most pet stores). Apart from ensuring that the animals has a sufficiently-sized enclosure (whether adequate for a 3 foot male, or for an unusual bruiser of a 6 foot female).

It’s rare for female snakes to lay slugs (infertile eggs) if they haven’t been exposed to males. If your snake passes slugs, a quick trip to the vet to ensure that all of them were passed is a good idea, particularly if you’re a novice and don’t know how to palpate for them.

Donna Fernstrom

Votes: 912

What does it mean if a new snake is lying on top of a snake that’s been in a cage for a while? I don’t know the gender of the new snake, but the other snake is a male.

Well, they may be competing for warmth or just establishing dominance. They’re not happy. Snakes should NOT be housed together. Quite apart from the stress it causes them, they can eat each other. (This has even happened with ball pythons).

Please separate them immediately and house them in individual cages.

And always quarantine new reptiles in a household for at least 3 months (preferably a year). There are some deadly reptile viruses out there which can incubate for long periods of time before symptoms appear.

Frank Nichols

Votes: 411

How can you tell the gender of a two headed snake?

The same way any snake is sexed.. A probe placed in the cloaca. These are special probes of different sizes, with ball ends, and should only be used by an experienced person.. The cloaca probe is the best and most accurate way to determine the sex of a snake.. I can’t stress this enough, only an experienced person should perform this.

Vijyu R

Votes: 6396

Yes, there are both types – Female and Male snakes, existing in Nature & 2 different genders of snakes have to normally unite to reproduce and propagate their life cycle of species.

Since the Snakes are Oviparous, and reproduce by laying eggs within anthills, or in burrows and nests, they have to take care of the eggs from the predators, and also as soon as they hatch since the young snakes will be vulnerable from the birds and other animals.

However there was a case of a Female snake reproducing twice on its own, without a Male snake — Female snake living in captivity without a male companion gives birth – again .

This phenomenon is called as Parthenogenesis and is a type of Asexual reproduction found in some insects, fish, amphibians, birds and reptiles, including some snakes, but not mammals.

Courtesy of – Female snake living in captivity without a male companion gives birth – again

Ben Waggoner

Votes: 2656

What are some signs that could determine a baby’s gender?

If your baby has a penis, your baby is probably, although not certainly, male.

If your baby has a vagina, your baby is probably, although not certainly, female.

If your baby does not obviously have either, please consult a pediatric urologist.

Hannah Fulcher

Votes: 5034

With an ultrasound, it is not PREDICTING, it is reporting. They just look to see which genetalia they can see.

Occasionally, they are wrong, but if you get all your ultrasounds, the next one should highlight this.

This won’t predict if the resulting child won’t later present as a different GENDER to the set of sex organs that they have.

Zach Norman

Votes: 3103

Is gender biological or a social construct?

Here’s how I see it, in simplest terms.

Sex and gender are biological. One is your physical body parts, the other is what you feel you are. That is biological; society doesn’t influence that.

What society does influence is gender expression. Things like “girls play with dolls” or “boys play sports” are completely put in place by society. Our bodies don’t decide that dresses are associated with girls- the world as a whole does.

Israel Ramirez

Votes: 7518

The SRY gene causes the embryo to develop testes which then produce testosterone causing the embryo to develop as a male. Without that gene, the gonad develops into an ovary and the embryo develops into a female.

This chart gives some more detail on how that happens.

If you want more details on biochemistry and molecular biology, this article gives a good introduction:


There are certain genetic defects that prevent an embryo from responding to testosterone despite having an SRY gene. This lady, for example, was disqualified from an Olympic team because she had a Y chromosome but is otherwise female. Her fiancé left her on learning about her genetic condition.

Martínez-Patiño had no doubts about her femininity “I knew I was a woman in the eyes of medicine, God, and, most of all, in my own eyes… If I hadn’t been an athlete, my femininity would never have been questioned”.[1] [2]

You can read more about such women here: Second Type Woman – Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome

Sex vs Gender

This is a confusing topic because biologists distinguish between sex and gender while ordinary people use those terms to mean the same thing. Here’s how biologists distinguish between them:

The term sex is generally used to refer to a binary of being either female or male as denoted by attributes that comprise biological sex. Gender, on the other hand, is meant to refer to the various socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men and gender-diverse people.[3]


Claire Jordan

Votes: 7631

Why can two-headed snakes only have one gender?

They are caused when a single embryo starts to split into identical twins, but gets stuck partway.

Maya Posch

Votes: 9345

Gender is mostly a social construct. My evidence for this are my experiences as an intersex (hermaphroditic) person.

When I was born, the doctor took a look at my genitals, and I was determined to be a boy. Thus I was raised as a boy. I believed I was a boy, even as during puberty I developed female hips, minor breasts and barely showed any signs of secondary male characteristics.

I believed I was a boy and didn’t have any issues with this as such.

Then I found out that I was trying to appear attractive to men, by appearing female to them. Not that I was wearing female clothes or such. It was more of a subconscious thing, really.

That experience triggered some questions, such as whether I had ever truly chosen to be either ‘male’ or female’. The answer to that was that I was still a child who had never really picked a side. I did feel that I was more comfortable in a female role, however, so I decided that I had to be transgender.

I had never felt anything in common with transgender people, however, and it took me only a few days to find out about this thing called ‘intersex’. This led me to discover that I have both male and female genitals.

At this point I have a natural, female hormone cycle, at least one functioning ovary, a vagina and a decidedly feminine body. Just with also a penis.

Now many around me feel that I should ‘feel like a woman’, but I do not think that such a thing really exists. Me feeling ‘like a boy’ was based upon a lie and fantasy as well. I can find no substance in ‘feeling like a woman’ either.

There are the social stereotypes, which are utter nonsense, but happily enforced by the binary majority. There are also many doctors who call us intersex people a ‘disorder’, and insist that only genital mutilation surgery can make us happy. As if they’d know.

My sex is hermaphrodite. My gender? I don’t know and don’t particularly care, even if I knew what it was supposed to refer to. As far as I can tell, it’s mostly just another binary fantasy.

Holly Root-Gutteridge

Votes: 10083

What’s the smallest wolf species?

It depends, what do you count as a wolf?

If you include all Canis species, the smallest undisputed wolf species is the Ethiopian wolf, Canis simensis.

(File:Canis simensis Bale Mountains National Park 8 cropped.jpg – Wikipedia)

They weigh just 11–19 kg (24–42 lbs). They don’t look much like the wolves most people think of though.

The other “wolf” species are grey wolves, Eastern wolves, red wolves, and dogs, but the taxonomic status of these is disputed, as they may all classify as the same species.

Up until a revision of phylogeny, the smallest grey wolf subspecies was the Arabian wolf, Canis lupu

Kumar Neelotpal

Votes: 1251

How do I identify a male and a female snake visually?

Determining the sex of an animal is a process which is called sexing.

I found a useful article on the subject of “sexing a snake”. Here it is below :

The following methods of sexing snakes should only be done by experienced caretakers or veterinary staff. If you are a beginner in snakes and want to know the sex of your snake, please find an experienced reptile keeper or vet to demonstrate the following for you, as the methods carry a risk of injury to your snake if they are done incorrectly.

Sexing Snakes Using Tail Characteristics

Male snakes have a pair of hemipenes (sex organs) that normally si

Adam Gurowski

Votes: 3838

Does temperature really determines gender in alligators?

No, alligators don’t have gender.

It certainly does determine sex and warmer temperatures cause males to hatch and colder temperatures cause females to hatch. Temperatures can depend on what type of vegetation is used in nesting and males tend to come from nests with leaves and females from those in wet marsh.

While male and female alligators do have different behaviors, they don’t transmit those behaviors through any sort of culture. They do congregate on occasion but for the most part, they are solitary creatures and there is no opportunity for a daddy alligator to teach his young sons how to

Claire Jordan

Votes: 4880

My mother has brown eyes and my father has blue. I have blue. How likely was it for me to have blue eyes?


Elliott MasonAdriana Heguy

Votes: 7462

Medically, how is gender determined?

Medically, human gender is determined by asking an individual, “How would you describe your gender identity?”

I think you’re asking about physical or bodily sex, which is more complicated than some people think. There are at least four independent ways to determine someone’s sex, and a single individual can have different results depending on which test is used.

1. Many biologists consider an organism’s biological sex to be determined by the nature of the sex cells (haploid carriers of heredity — in most vertebrates, sperm and eggs) the organism makes within its body. This is an all-encompassin

Peter Osborne

Votes: 5096

Do female snakes mate more than male snakes?

Now there is a question indeed. It’s a bit like which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Or “are there lebi”……….Go and ask your mummy.

Laura D

Votes: 1149

How is gender decided during fertilisation?

SEX is decided during fertilization by the seed of the father. Gender is decided later, in the wiring of the brain.

About half of the sperm of the father will lead to boys, the other half leads to girls. That’s because of the way that sperm (and egg cells!) are made.

Each cell of the body contains 46 genes. Except for the sperm and the egg cells, they only contain 23. Imagine that there are 23 rows of genes. Each row has 2 entries, A and B. That’s 46 in total. Now, when egg cells and sperm are made, they are made by taking 1 half of each row. So from row 1 it takes B, from row 2 it takes A, and

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