How Can You Tell The Gender Of A Snake

How Can You Tell The Gender Of A Snake? 6 Ways To Know That

It’s not easy to get a snake to mate. They don’t have much difference between men and women (visual differences between the sexes). The only way male and female snakes are different is on the inside.

The best ways to have sexual contact with a snake are to prod and pop it. For probing, a probe is put into the snake’s cloaca (genital cavity), and the depth to which the probe goes is measured.

If the snake’s depth is larger, that means it is a male. To pop a snake, you push its hemipenes out with your thumb. The fact that the organism doesn’t have hemipenes suggests that it is female.

Snakes can be told apart by what they look like, but the differences depend on the species and are not always clear.

We’ll talk about the physical differences between male and female snakes and the two best ways to tell if a snake is male or female.

Why It’s Important To Know The Gender Of Your Snake

In many situations, it’s hard to tell the difference between a male and a female snake. But if you want to breed snakes, you must be able to tell the difference between males and females.

When you’re ready to sell the snakes you’ve raised, you’ll need to know what gender they are. This is because most of the time, a female snake is worth more than a male snake. Women snakes are more valuable because they can have babies.

But there’s another good reason to learn how to make love to a snake:

If you want to keep two snakes in the same terrarium but don’t want them to have babies, you’ll need to be able to tell which snake is which. This isn’t usually done with snakes, but it has to be done if you want to try.

How Can You Tell The Gender Of A Snake

How To Tell If Your Snake Is Male Or Female

There are different ways to figure out if a snake is male or female, and some are more accurate than others.

Some of these methods can tell a snake’s gender from the time it is born, but others need the snake to be sexually mature or close to it (snakes generally reach sexual maturity between two and four years of age).

Think about the situation if you want to learn how to seduce a snake in a safe and accurate way. Having more than one choice can be helpful in this situation!

1. Factor In Their General Appearance

The way a snake looks can sometimes be used to tell what gender it is.

Expert Tip: It’s important to know that not all snake species have different looks for males and females, but if you have one, it’s an option.

Size is one difference that can help you figure out what kind of snake it is.

Most of the time, female ball pythons are a little bit bigger than males. The length of a female anaconda is about 4.7 times that of a male. Male rat snakes, on the other hand, are about 14% bigger than females.

In some snake species, males and females can be told apart by the colours they show.

Male and female European adders, banded rock rattlesnakes, and many other species can be told apart by their colour.

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If you have a species that has different males and females, it can be easy to tell if your snake is male or female.

2. Look At The Tail

You might be able to tell what kind of snake you have by how its tail curves.

Hemipenes are parts of a snake’s body that help it reproduce. The hemipenes are organs that look like tubes and are right next to the snake’s cloacal opening. Because of this, a male snake’s tail is often bigger and longer than a female’s.

A male snake’s tail is not the same shape as a female snake’s tail. A male snake’s tail is thick at the base and gets thinner as it gets closer to the tip. On the other hand, a female snake’s tail gets thinner as it gets closer to the end.

Even though the tails of male and female snakes are very different, it can be hard for a beginner to tell the gender of a single snake by its tail. Using this method, it can also be hard to figure out what kind of snake it is when it is still young.

3. Inspect The Anal Spurs

You can’t tell if a snake is male or female by looking at its anal spurs. Using this method, you can get a good idea of what kind of snake you have.

Some snake species have anal spurs, which are bony parts of the back legs that look like rose thorns. Snakes have anal spurs on their stomachs (on the left and right sides of the cloaca).

Most pet snake species have male anal spurs that are much bigger and more defined than female anal spurs. Male snakes use their spurs to fight other males and to hold onto females when they are mating.

Some species don’t have spurs that you can see. Spurs only stay on snakes that haven’t changed much (such as pythons and boas).

Even if a snake has clear anal spurs, this is not a very reliable way to tell what gender it is. Snakes, like humans, have distinct bodies. Some males have big spurs, and others have small ones. Women snakes can have big or small spurs, too.

4. Use The Probing Technique

Even though it may be easy to tell the difference between a male and female snake when they are next to each other, it can be hard to tell a snake’s gender just by looking at it. Because of this, experienced snake keepers prefer to probe a snake to find out its gender.

For this process, you need a special tool called a snake probe. Make sure you have the right-sized probe before you start. A probe that is too big will hurt your snake.

Expert tip: Never probe your snake with something made of metal. Snake probes are made for this exact reason. They have tips that are round or ball-shaped and won’t hurt your pet.

Also, it’s a good idea to have someone hold your snake while you poke it. Your snake will be awake when you do this surgery on it, and it is not likely to help.

To start, clean and grease the probe and insert it into the cloacal opening on the right or left side of your snake, aiming for the tip of the tail.

You shouldn’t have to put much pressure on your snake when you poke it. Once you know what kind of snake it is, gently and slowly pull the probe out.

If you probe a female, you will hit one of her smell glands, and the probe will only go one to three scales deep. If you are probing a guy, you will go into one of his hemipenes and insert the probe about nine to fifteen scales.

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Beginners who want to know what gender a snake is shouldn’t use this method.

If you’ve never looked at a snake before, it’s best to ask a snake owner or breeder how to do it. Putting too much pressure on the probe or putting it at the wrong angle can hurt your snake.

5. Try Popping

Popping is a way to find out what your snake’s sex is, but only a knowledgeable owner should do it. If you don’t do it right, popping can be dangerous.

Snakes that are young and small should pop the most. Most snakes that are bigger and older have enough muscle tone to keep their hemipenes inside.

To pop, put hard but gentle pressure on the belly side of the snake’s tail about three-fourths of the way down.

You don’t let up on the pressure as you move your finger toward the snake’s cloaca. If you use the right method with a male snake, one of the hemipenes will come out of the cloaca. Hemipenes are tubes that are red.

If you try this and nothing comes out of the cloaca, it doesn’t mean you have a female snake. It’s possible that the pressure used wasn’t enough to push the hemipenes out.

How Can You Tell The Gender Of A Snake

Again, this is not the best way to do it because if you do it wrong, your snake could get hurt. Some experienced owners and breeders have had great luck with it, but you should stay away from it if you don’t know much about it.

6. Get An Ultrasound

Without a doubt, the most accurate way to find out if your snake is male or female is to use an ultrasound.

Even though a hobby breeder or caretaker might not need an ultrasound, animal parks, zoos, and conservation breeding projects use them all the time.

A snake’s gender can be determined with an ultrasound, and a vet can also use it to see if a female snake is growing egg follicles.

In this case, an ultrasound can also show how far along the pregnancy is. Breeders can’t get enough of this information. With this information, breeders can decide when the best time is to start the mating process.

Some breeders prefer to buy an ultrasound machine, according to advice from experts. You can take your snake to a nearby exotic vet for the surgery, though.

Most of the time, an ultrasound can be done while the snake is held still. If the snake is very big or dangerous, a vet may choose to do the treatment while the snake is sedated or under general anesthesia.

Do Male and Female Snakes Look Different?

Some species look pretty much the same no matter what gender they are, but others have big differences. Here are three other ways to tell what kind of snake you have just by looking at it:

Tail Shape

Male and female snakes have different bodies, so their tails look a little bit different. The difference could be very clear (like with hognose snakes) or more subtle (like with ball pythons).

Their tails also get much thinner over a longer period of time. The females’ tails are shorter and thin out quickly after the cloaca.

The Biological Journal of the Linnean Society says that the shape of a snake’s reproductive system is what makes the tail narrow.

So that their hemipenes can fit, their tails must be long. The tail of the snake starts at the cloaca. Follow these steps to look at its tail:

  • Hold your snake on its stomach to find its cloaca.
  • Find the middle of the snake’s tail, which is halfway between the cloaca and the end of the tail.
  • Look at how thick this middle part is. If the snake’s circumference at this point is less than half of what it was at the cloaca, it’s probably a female. If it’s more than half, it’s a man.
  • You can also count the number of scales on the underside of the tail before it starts to get thinner. If there are more than six scales, it’s probably a male.
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Pelvic Spurs

Pelvic spurs are small pieces of bone that stick out near the cloaca of a snake. They are the bones that used to be legs. Not all species have spurs, but most boa and python species do.

For species with spurs, like boas, the size of the spurs can show what gender they are. The male Boa constrictor’s spurs are much bigger and stand out more than the female’s spurs. Boas do not always have spurs on their backs.

But in other species, the spurs can’t be used to tell the difference between males and females. For example, some female ball pythons have spurs that are just as big as those on male snakes.

How Can You Tell The Gender Of A Snake


Animal Behavior says that the female snakes are bigger than the male snakes. Scientists think this is because bigger females can make bigger eggs and babies. Young snakes that are bigger have a better chance of living.

Ball pythons and boas have different sizes for males and females. Even though their babies are the same size, females tend to get much bigger as they get older.

SexBall PythonBoa Constrictor
Male2-3 feet3-5 feet
Female6-8 feet7-10 feet

If you measure the snake, you might be able to tell if it’s a boy or a girl. Not every snake will respond to this.

In some snake species, like colubrids, men and women are about the same size. In some animals, like rattlesnakes, the males get bigger than the females.


Once you know how to make a snake have babies, taking care of it gets a lot easier in other ways. And if you want to breed, you have to have this talent.

As you can see, most ways to figure out what kind of snake it is depend on the situation. Sometimes you can tell just by looking at them, but sometimes you need an ultrasound to be sure.

Think about this when you are trying to figure out if your snake is male or female. and put their health and safety ahead of everything else.

If you have any questions about how this will work, please send them over! We would be more than happy to help.

Princy Hoang
See more articles in this category: Snakes

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