Trachemys tortoise is a reptile, which can often be found in home aquariums and terrariums. She is beautiful and interesting to watch. There is a lot of information on caring for such a pet. But there is one question that baffles many: “How to determine the sex of the red-eared tortoise?” This information can be interesting both simply out of curiosity and in terms of obtaining offspring.
Fish, lizards, frogs, turtles – this is a rather difficult task. It is necessary not only to be very attentive, but also to know some of their physiological features. We hope that this article will help readers understand this issue.
Ideal age for sex
People buy both young and old turtles. And at any age, there are certain structural features of the body that can be used to judge gender. But the easiest way to do this is for five to seven year olds. This is explained by the fact that red-eared turtles develop for a very long time and become sexually mature at this age. For research, experienced tortoises are advised to stock up with a ruler and a magnifying glass.
There are generalized characteristics for determining sex, universal for all types of turtles. You can judge gender by:
- eye color;
- coloring of the upper jaw;
- nose color;
- the background of the head;
- claw length and thickness;
- along the plastron, that is, the ventral side of the shell;
- in the form of the shell itself;
- along the length and thickness of the tail;
- by location and type of cesspools;
- by severity of femoral spurs;
- the size of the turtle;
- on sexual behavior (flirting, aggression, harassment, etc.).
Determination of the sex of rubella by external signs
Carefully studying the turtle, pay special attention to the main features.
Tail. This is the most common criterion among breeders. If we take two turtles and compare their appendages at the posterior end of the body, then the one with which it is longer, wider at the base and narrower to the tip, is a male. And an individual with a shorter, evenly thick and rounded tail is a female.
Plastron shape. Inside this formation, in the lower part of the abdominal shield, the genitals are located. In females, the back of the carapace has a flat surface. But in males it is modified and slightly concave. Due to this feature, the insemination can be fixed on the female at the time of mating.
Claws. An indicator is their shape and length. If the claws are short and pointed, then you have a female, and if they are long and curved, then a male. However, when determining the gender of the claws, you can be very mistaken, especially with too young or old turtles. In the former, the claws may not yet be fully formed, while in the latter, they can already be worn off the ground.
- Body size. Females are always larger than males, as they have to bear eggs.
- Shell shape. In males it is narrower and longer, while in females it is rounded and short.
- The shape of the rear end of the plastron. In males, it is V-shaped, pointed. In females, on the contrary, it is rounded.
- Anal hole. The female cesspool has the shape of an asterisk and is located at the base of the tail. The anus of the male is more like a longitudinal line and shifted to the end of the tail.
- Face shape. This feature is very controversial and not fully confirmed by zoologists. Nevertheless, it is believed that the muzzle of the muzzle is narrower than that of the female.
Behavioral sex determination
Breeders with experience claim that it is possible to identify girls and boys among rubella based on monitoring their behavior.
Females are distinguished by more calm behavior. Males actively move and taste everything around. They also clearly exhibit sexual behavior, which consists in chasing the female, nibbling her neck, nodding her head.
Of course, such a definition is possible only in the case when there are several turtles and they are heterosexual.
It is no less interesting to observe the behavior of the male during mating games. He meets a female in the water, turns his muzzle towards her and swims backwards, while, as it were, tickling the claws of his forepaws with his chin.
Now you know when and how you can determine the sex of the red-eared turtle, and you can pick up a pair. And this means that your calm and thoughtful reptiles from now on will not only adorn everyday life, but will also be able to bring offspring. If you prefer to keep one animal, rather than a pair, then who better to keep – male or female – is not important for red-eared turtles.
Well, in conclusion, an interesting fact: the temperature of the offspring is directly affected by the temperature established in the dwelling during the incubation period (if it is less than 27 degrees, there will be males, and if more than 30, then females).
Animal lovers, and it doesn’t matter at all what kind of animal, cat, dog or budgerigar they know exactly what kind of pet they are. That is, choosing a companion and a fourth friend, a person is determined in advance with the question of the sex of the beast.
Perplexed question about who it is: "boy or girl? »Will not cause feline representatives to owners, let alone dog breeders. Even the owners of the wonderful underwater world, recreated in miniature, that is, the aquarist probably knows who lives in his underwater kingdom. Another thing is the owners of reptiles, including turtles. You can hardly ask a person who keeps a turtle at home, such a question, you will immediately receive an answer.
Many simply do not know the answer to this question. Yes, and how to understand such a mysterious and mysterious centenarians, like a turtle? The question of how the sex of a land tortoise is determined is often asked by the owners of these reptiles. He is especially interested in amateur beginners. We will try to understand this tricky business.
First of all, it should be said that there are certain signs that are characteristic of all types of turtles. But there are also those that are characteristic only of certain varieties of reptiles.
As you know, these amphibians have a very long life expectancy.
Turtles trace their history back to the oldest reptiles called cotilosaurs. These ancient creatures appeared on earth more than one million years ago, and today’s quite extensively populated the entire planet – they adapted not only to live on land, but settled fresh, as well as marine bodies of water.
The record holder among these reptiles is known – this is a tortoise that has lived for 152 years, but scientists say that this is far from the limit! Under favorable conditions, these reptiles successfully survive up to 200 – 300 years.
Probably, in connection with such a life span, it is far from possible to determine the sex of a tortoise living on land. A reliable answer to this innermost question can be obtained only after your pet reaches the age of 6-8 years, while the length of the carapace should not be less than 10 cm, however, for some species, the owner gets the opportunity to determine gender by the age of 2-5 years old.
The sex of a giant tortoise can only be determined by reaching the age of 20 years.
The easiest way to recognize a male or female in your pet, if you compare it with another turtle, it will be more obvious. But we can proceed from the following signs.
Definition of a turtle’s floor. Common signs.
When determining the gender of your pet, pay attention to:
Determination of sex of land tortoises by species
In addition to the main criteria that will tell the tortoologist who it is: a boy or a girl, there are also species characteristics. Among them are the following:
- nose color. By this feature, the sex of the yellow-headed Indian tortoise can be recognized. Females have the usual color of the nose, but in males it is pink;
- eye color. For example, males of Caroline box turtles have bright red eyes, and females have only slightly reddish eyes. Spengler males (mountain species) have blue eyes, females have brown eyes.
For the offspring of a turtle, gender determination is especially important. But since these animals do not have a pronounced sexual trait, it is difficult to unequivocally say where is the “boy” and where is the “girl”. Therefore, being the owner of such an exotic animal and wondering how to distinguish the sex of a turtle, you will have to be especially observant, paying attention to studying the distinctive external characteristics of your pet and its behavior in a group of relatives.
How to distinguish the sex of a turtle: general nuances
How to distinguish the sex of a turtle by external signs
Carapace and Plastron
The shell of males is more elongated, elongated in comparison with the shell of females. The ventral side of the tortoise shell (plastron) is one of the most characteristic features by which the sex of an animal can be quickly and easily recognized. As soon as the turtle is turned over, the differences will be noticeable: the back of the plastron in the male is slightly concave, and in the female it is flat, which ensures the convenience of mating of these animals. True, this applies only to sexually mature individuals whose carapace reaches 11 cm. In most species of turtles, males are usually smaller than females.
Tail, cesspool and claws
Nature rewarded male turtles with longer and wider tails at the base than females. An additional definition will be the shape of the tail. In males, the tail is usually bent to the ground, and in females it is very short and straight.
In the female turtle, the anus is located closer to the upper part of the carapace and the tip of the tail and has the shape of an asterisk, whereas in males. in the form of an elongated line. Another distinctive feature of these animals is claws. In males on their forepaws, they are usually much longer than in females (with the exception of panther turtles, which have the opposite). In male box turtles, the claws are thickened on the front and bent down on the hind legs.
Males of the Carolina box turtle have a red iris, and in marsh turtles, females have yellowish and dark brown eyes in males, which can also be distinguished by a whitish upper lip in this type. The distinctive features of female turtles include jaws that are more developed than males. Male red-eared turtles are distinguished by a pointed muzzle with a longer nose compared to females.
How to find out the sex of a turtle: behavior analysis
To determine the gender, it will be ideal to watch your pet in the company of its relatives. Male turtles are more active and pronounced, especially during mating, aggressive behavior, and females are usually more likely to hide their heads in shells. In the company of their own kind, male turtles show increased aggression: they bite at the paws of females and fight with shells with other males. In the mating season, the male actively flirts with the female: he warns in front of her face and specifically shakes his head.
Red-eared turtle. A very cute pet, which requires a minimum of attention and care, perfectly turns out in the photo and pleases the kids with its friendliness. Therefore, the owners often try to breed these reptiles, crossing them among themselves. The question of determining the sex of the red-eared tortoise in this case plays a very important role. But, this task is far from simple , and its solution is difficult even for specialists.
The easiest way to do this comparing two heterosexual creatures.
This is clearly shown in the video.
Then the differences can be seen clearly and most correctly determine the gender of the turtles.
- Claw length and shape
Adult males who have reached the age of five have long curved claws, pointed at the ends. While in females, the claws are short and not sharp at all. If you look carefully through a magnifying glass, you will notice that their ends are rounded.
This symptom must be considered in conjunction with the rest, since it cannot be considered completely reliable. In some turtles living in a hard terrarium, the claws may simply grind off. In this case, their length and shape will change. And the male can easily be mistaken for a female.
- Shell differences
How to determine the gender of the red-eared turtle? – plastron will help – carapace.
Nature made sure that the mating of reptiles took place effortlessly, giving the males a concave shape of this part of the shield. It is inside the plastron that the genitals of the turtles are located. And thanks to the V-shape of the abdominal part, the male is firmly fixed during mating on its partner. In females, the plastron is completely flat, has no recesses.
The shape of the shell itself can also tell who is who. Males flaunt in a narrow elongated shield, while ladies wear more rounded and shorter houses.
In females, the tail is so shorter than the male that it is visible to the naked eye. In addition, the form of this formation is different. The tail of the "boys" has a large thickening near the base and a thin sharp tip. In females, the tail is even along the entire length, without thickenings, the end has a rounded shape.
In the red-eared turtle, the cloaca is located on the tail, and its location can also indicate gender. The anus of males resembles a thin line, located in the lower part of the tail. In females, cesspool is zigzag, similar to half a star, located near the base.
A detailed story on this subject
Additional external symptoms
If you are still in doubt about which gender your pet belongs to, evaluate other definition criteria:
- The diameter of the hole between the dorsal and abdominal parts of the shell. In females, it is noticeably larger, because it is they who postpone future offspring.
- Body size. Girls are always larger than boys by about a couple of centimeters. If a female of five years of age reaches 17–19 cm in length, then the male will not grow more than 15. By the age of 6, the length of the female is on average 19–21 cm, and the male is only 16–18.
You can easily distinguish males by their behavior. Boys are more active and curious, they constantly move, try all available objects for a tooth, stick to girls. This is manifested in the fact that the male catches up with a possible partner he likes and tries to bite her neck slightly. The boyfriend invites to pairing with fluttering claws right in front of the eyes of the female.
Males constantly “nod” their heads like Chinese tangerines.
In addition, the “men” compete with each other, trying to drive the opponent away from their territory or from the female. Things hardly reach a serious fight, but males can push and bite for a long time until one of them retreats, leaving the battlefield behind a more successful rival.
It was at this time that it was necessary to determine its gender. How to understand how old a pet is? It’s not difficult to do, knowing her sizes :
- In a year, the length of the shell is 5–7 cm;
- at 2 years old. 9cm;
- at 3 years old. from 11 to 14 cm;
- at 4 years old. 13 cm males and 17 females;
- at 5 years old. 15 and 19cm.
– These are terrarium pets that do not require complex knowledge in the care and maintenance at home. But the difficult moment is to determine the gender of the red-eared turtle, because you need to make sure that this is a boy and a girl.
It is difficult to identify a female at an early age. Trachemys only reach maturity at 7–8 years after birth, then characteristic signs begin to manifest clearly and it becomes easier to determine the sex of the baby.
How to determine the sex of a red-eared turtle
It is possible to distinguish sex in red-eared turtles according to the external signs that are present in each individual of this species. The main differences between the sex of animals:
- Differences in shell color.
- The type and size of the tail.
- The color of the creepy nose.
- The size of the shell of the animal.
- Location of cesspools.
A detailed examination of some of the characters helps to identify a female or male among several animals.
On the hind legs, the claws are blunt in both animals. At the male. longer and sharper.
Males use claws to attach to the partner’s carapace during breeding.
This method does not reliably help to find out the gender, because young reptiles have not fully formed claws, and a mature animal grinds manicure on hard ground.
In male reptiles, femoral spurs appear on the paws, and small scales are also located on the hind limbs.
To determine the gender of the red-eared turtle, look at the abdominal part of the shell (plastron). In males. concave, in females. not.
The protective element in heterosexual turtles is different. The carapace in males is long, in the tail part it forms the Latin letter V. In the female, the carapace is rounded and large, for carrying eggs. Special hole at the end. for putting off.
Male individuals are less than companions. Exceptions are some types.
In females, the color of the plastron is different, in males. blue.
Tail and cesspool
The most reliable factor in determining sex. In males, the process in the back of the body is long, and the base and tip. wide. Females are characterized by the presence of a short tail that is uniform in length.
The female cesspool is located closer to the base of the tail and resembles an asterisk. The reptile’s anus is wide for laying eggs. The cloaca of the male is more like a longitudinal line, which is located in the rear part closer to the tip of the process.
The female is calm. She rarely moves unnecessarily.
Males, on the contrary, are aggressive. When breeding, a female is chased. They try to attract attention by biting the female’s neck, and also often nod.
During mating games, males tend to squeak, attracting females. Some females are able to make the same sounds, so this sign is uncertain.
For each type of reptile, a special color of the iris. In heterosexual water turtles, eye color is different.
The female has a yellow nose. At the male. pointy and small.
The male’s head is larger with a longitudinal strip of a reddish hue, which, when propagated, acquires a saturated bright color. The upper jaw is whitish in color.
A rare way. blood test and radiography. Until the age of seven, it is pointless to apply the method. In males, testes have not yet formed, and in females, the ovaries. Upon reaching puberty, the boy is distinguished by a blood test in which there is an increased level of testosterone. Ultrasound helps to identify a female individual in the formation of follicles.
- Sex can be recognized after adulthood.
- A reliable option is to make comparisons of several animals. Occasionally, some of the symptoms in similar turtles are similar. It is better to check your pets for several factors.
- Animal conditions sometimes cause hormonal disruption. Then determine the gender is possible only to the veterinarian.