Sexing - Male Or Female
apart a Male from a Female can be pretty hard if the
turtle is at a young stage, but easier as the turtle
grows older into juveniles and adults. It doesn't
really rely on age, but rather by size. This features
will be easily visible on turtles of 4" or larger,
depending on over all average size of your species
of turtle. Note: This Male/Female information can
be applied to sliders and other turtles of similar
race. Not all turtles will display these features.
off, the male turtle usually tends to have a concave
plastron (bottom shell). The reason for this is because
he has to stay on the female's carapace (upper shell)
to breed. It would be rather hard to do this task
if the shell was flat. He would be slipping and falling
off of her. Another attribute the male has is a much
longer and thicker shell, then that of the female.
The anal hole is also usually past the carapacial
rim (end of shell). He must slide his tail under hers
to copulate. On some species, longer foreclaws are
Some species that have them are Painted,
Sliders, Cooters, and Map turtles. These claws are
used in some sort of breeding ritual. The male will
show the appearance of caressing the females cheeks.
Of course they have more purposes than just breeding.
They are used in showing dominance to another turtle,
stating "This is my territory, I'm telling you to
stay out of it," or just a simple "Hi, how are you
doing?" Coloration in some species is also an indicator
of sex. In male Box turtles, the male tends to have
red eyes. In Spotted turtles, males have tan chins
and brown eyes.
are also ways to tell if your turtle is a female.
The first of course is to look at the plastron, females
are flat or slightly convex. The reasoning behind
this is because, she has to hold the eggs, and she
wouldn't have enough room to do so if she was like
the male and it was concave. The tail of a female
is short and the anal opening is before the carapacial
rim. In most species of turtle, the female's front
claws are short, they do not have to show breeding
rituals because the female doesn't have to convince
the male who she is. The one that says who breeds
is the female. Coloration is also an indicator in
this gender as well. Female Box turtles usually have
Male turtles also will have their
reproductive organs come out of their opening on the tail .
This is commonly known as prolapse. This condition is perfectly normal, and is most often confused with an organ prolapse.
It doesn't hurt much, but it is very annoying. It's a
normal occurrence and we don't know why it happens.
Make sure you watch your turtle so it
goes back in.
If this happens a lot, it may cause distress.
You might need the help of a veterinarian. If your turtle
is on dry land when this happens, put us in luke warm
water to help keep it moist.
Occasionally, the erect reproductive organ remains fully
engorged and cannot be retracted. This condition is called
paraphimosis. Veterinary intervention is necessary in these
cases to prevent permanent damage to the reproductive
are the easiest and most basic ways to tell if you
have a male or female turtle. Almost all species follow
these rules, but not all. Some female Box turtles
have red eyes, while some males have brown eyes. Some
male specimens have shown a short tail. The above
is what the majority show. Baby turtles do not usually
display these characteristics until they mature.
This is the males reproductive organ starting to come out.
This is when people panic as they can't believe the size the organ is. This condition is perfectly normal. It should go back in within a few minutes. The problem comes when it doesn't go in and then it is time to take your turtle to a Vet.
you don't know the sexing of your turtle, ask us at
to register. It will load in another window.
TurtlePub Staff with questions, turtle pictures, etc.
TurtlePub Staff - Webmaster - E-mail