How to know if my turtle is male or female

In the animal kingdom, females and males are usually physically different, this is known as sexual dimorphism. In general, these differences in appearance between the different sexes are more noticeable in mammals and in some species of birds (such as parakeets) than in reptiles, so it is not too easy to know if a turtle is male or female . In .com we give you the keys to help you distinguish it.

The plastron

It is the first thing you should set to know the sex of a turtle . The plastron is the ventral part of the shell of the turtle, that is, the bottom part of the shell that protects the belly of the animal.

In the males it is more or less concave, to facilitate the reproduction, since when having that form it fits better in the part of above of the carapace of the female at the moment of the copulation. In contrast, the plastrones of the females are flattened or convex, depending on the species.

The size

Another factor to take into account to know if a turtle is male or female is to calculate the length of the tail: the tail of the males is longer and thicker than that of the females. In addition, in some varieties of turtles the males have a scale at the tip.

In general terms, females are much larger than males, so observing and comparing the size between these animals of different genders can be crucial to know the sex of a turtle .

The cloacal opening

The cloacal opening is the orifice located at the base of the tail through which the penis is exposed at the moment of copulation. Observing this part of the turtle's body will also help us determine the sex of the turtle .

In the machos, if we take them and put them upside down, it can be seen that this opening is located caudal to the carapace edge, that is, more outwards (towards the tail), while in the females it is located behind said edge (more towards the body of the turtle), and seems to hide inside the shell, not being easy to appreciate.

Water or land turtle

In addition to knowing if a turtle is male or female it is important that you determine if the type of turtle you have at home is water or land. To know the type of turtle that lives with you, you can observe two basic elements:

  • The carapace : depending on the environment where they are, the shell of a turtle has some characteristics or other, for example, a turtle with a smooth shell is water because this type of shell helps the animal move in the water; the land turtle has a more rugged and irregular carapace.
  • The legs : it is also a basic element to know the type of turtle that you have at home; those of water have membranes between their fingers, something that helps them swim; those of earth do not have these membranes because they do not need them in their natural habitat.

In we give you some other keys that will help you to know if your turtle is land or water.