How Can You Tell if a Turtle is Male or Female?

Turtle is a tiny but cute pet that is becoming trendy as a pet. If you are petting a turtle, you may want to know whether it is a boy or girl. However, it can be pretty hard to detect the gender of the turtle as they don’t have any external sex organs. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot find out the gender of the turtle.

So, How Can You Tell if a Turtle is Male or Female? Well, there are several ways to find out the gender of your turtle. We will recommend you go through all the mentioned ways to be assured about the gender of your turtle.

How Can You Tell if a Turtle is Male or Female?

Check the Shell

One of the easiest ways to detect the gender of the turtle is through its shell. The shell of the species is varies based on their gender. Typically, the male turtle has a smaller carapace while compared with the female. If you have two or more turtles, you can inspect its shell to determine whether it is male or female. The same-aged female turtle should be bigger in shell size when compared with the same-aged male turtle.

However, you shouldn’t solely depend on shell size while finding the turtle’s gender. That’s because the method is only applicable when your turtles have fully grown adults. If you have baby turtles, then you cannot find out their gender in this way. Besides, the male turtle can sometimes be bigger than the female turtle due to better metabolism and eating habit.

Inspect the Plastron

In case you don’t know, the underside belly part of the turtle is called a plastron. In other words, we can say that plastron is the underside of the shell. If the turtle is male, then it should have inward curving in its plastron while the female’s plastron should be flat. Such setting of the plastron enables the male turtle to fit on the female turtle shell during sex. 

So, how can you check the plastron as it is typically not visible? Here is how to check it – pick the turtle upward and turn it over. Now the plastron should be visible to you. Leave it alone once you are done inspecting. Be aware while handing the turtle as it can get stressed quickly and may try to bite you. So, keep your hand on the tail ends while holding the turtle.  

Check Front Claws

Male turtle typically has taller claws when considered with the female varieties. They employ the big front claw to fight and depend on their habitat. Besides, they also use these claws during mating rituals with the female turtles. That’s why the male turtle’s front claws are typically bigger than the female turtle’s claw. 

If you are petting red-eared slider turtles, you should find out their gender following the step. It may not be fully efficient for the other species. 

Check the Cloaca

Both female and male turtle has a hole lookalike opening on the opposite side of their turtle. It is known as the cloaca, and it may vary based on the gender of the turtle. The cloaca in the male turtle is longer when compared with the female. It is close to the end of their tail.

Besides, the cloaca in the female turtle is more of a round-shape. When compared to the male turtle, it is more closed to the body and almost in the place where the tails join the body. Make sure to handle the turtle carefully while inspecting the part to avoid snaps or injuring the turtle.

Check Tail Notch and Tail Size

The male turtle typically has a small V-shaped notch. You can find it easily, giving a closer look to its rear end of the carapace. On the other hand, there will be no such notch in the female turtle. It will be more like a U-shape when compared with the V-notch of the male turtle. Such a notch enables the turtles to accommodate their tail while mating.

You can also determine the turtle’s gender through their tail size. Generally, the tail of the male turtle is bigger. That’s because the male turtle has the genitalia on the tail. To accommodate the organ, the male turtle’s tail is lengthy and thicker. The female turtles don’t get their genitalia on the tail, and the part is smaller and thicker.

Conclusion

There are actually much more ways to find a turtle’s gender apart from the ways we have discussed above. But we believe these are enough to tell if a turtle is male or female. Here is an important tip – make sure to utilize multiple ways to be assured about the gender. That’s because none of these methods discussed above can solely determine turtle’s gender. By making use of multiple ways, you should be able to be fully assured of the gender. So, How Can You Tell if a Turtle is Male or Female? Well, there are several ways to find out the gender of your turtle. We will recommend you go through all the mentioned ways to be assured about the gender of your turtle.

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