Snake Gender Determination
SNAKE SEXING METHODS
by Alan W. Zulich
This is for information
The gender of a snake may be determined by a few different methods, depending on the species. For example, male boa constrictors and pythons have spurs on either side of the vent, or cloaca. But the majority of snakes do not show clear (external) sexual dimorphism
Two commonly used methods to determine
the gender of snakes are described below. They are “Popping”
and “Probing”. Again note: under
no circumstances should this be done by an untrained individual.
Even then great care must be taken when performing either of these operations.
Failure to do so will result in pain, internal damage to the snake,
and even death.
A juvenile snake may be sexed by the “popping” of the hemipenes. In this technique, the male sex organ is everted from the cloacal region of the snake posterior. Invert the snake, holding it steady with the left hand. This hand should apply finger pressure to the area above the cloaca. Roll the thumb forward toward the cloaca, putting pressure on the tail that will cause the hemipenes to evert from the pocket.
Again note: under no circumstances should this be done by an untrained individual. Even then great care must be taken when performing either of these operations. Failure to do so will result in pain, internal damage to the snake, and even death.
The process of probing is more complex. Selection of
the appropriate size probe is the first step. The probe may puncture
the posterior end of the hemipenis if too small, or may not allow
for ample movement if too large. A general rule of thumb is to select
a blunt, stainless steel, ball-tipped or tapered probe with a diameter
of approximately one quarter the diameter of the anal plate. The anal
plate may be seen if the snake is turned over.
Your questions, comments and suggestions
are welcome. E-mail Jana