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Last updated : 01/04/2007

This page is indexed on our home page under Aspect: 4. Information & care sheets and the Section: Health Issues

Determining the Sex of Snakes

Extracted from article by BILL ROOT & PAUL HOLLANDER (See full article)


A snake's sex can be determined in several ways.

1. Probing. This is the most reliable, but it should only be done by an experienced person. In this method, a metal probe is slipped through the vent to check for the presence of a hemipenis, the male copulatory organ. Every male has two hemipenes in the base of the tail.

2. A simple visual examination of the tail's length and thickness. The hemipenes make the tails of males longer and thicker than the tails of females of the same size. When looked at from the side, male tails are generally half as thick at the middle as at the base. Female tails are usually half as thick a quarter of the tail's length from the base. While learning, look at adult snakes of known sex before trying it on juveniles and adults of unknown sex.

3. Spurs. Male boa constrictors and pythons have spurs on either side of the vent that are longer than those of the females.

In general, breeding snakes requires closely copying their natural conditions. This may include a seasonal day-night light cycle with a full spectrum light like Duro-test's Vita-lite, winter cooling, and other factors. Although captive breeding should be encouraged, it requires more dedication than simply keeping a few snakes.


Further Reading

Determining the Sex of Snakes by


Some Aids On How To Visually Sex Snakes

A beginners guide to safe ways of sexing your corn snake. by David Kershaw of Captive Bred Snakes

Downloadable  Corn Snake  Sexing  Videos by CornUtopia  /  Kathy Love   





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Last update : 01/04/2007