How to sex a bearded dragon? You would assume, “Well, that shouldn’t be too tough,” but there are numerous techniques to distinguish between bearded dragon sexes. Though the strategy for caring for female and male bearded dragons is the same, knowing your beardie’s gender is still useful. Let’s start at the beginning.
There are various methods for determining if your bearded dragon is male or female, and some are easier than others. While an experienced enthusiast may be able to detect the gender of a bearded dragon early on, most pet parents have better luck once the bearded dragon is 4-6 months old. Beardies older than a year are the easiest to train, although there are also safe and reliable methods for determining the gender of a juvenile beardie.
What is the difference between a male and a female bearded dragon?
“Can you tell me if my bearded dragon is male or female?” This might be one of your first questions about your new beardie pal. In general, the older your bearded dragon is, the easier it is to discern his or her gender. Adult bearded dragons have characteristics that young bearded dragons lack.
Try these five methods for determining the gender of bearded dragon pets for the greatest understanding:
1. Examine your hemipenal bulges.
The quickest and easiest technique to tell the sex of a bearded dragon is to search for hemipenal bulges. The existence of hemipenes, the male bearded dragon’s internal sex organs, is indicated by these bulges. For beardies aged 4-6 months and up, this is the quickest method.
Hemipenal bulges can be observed on your bearded dragon’s underbelly, near the back of its tail. If you’ve just taken your reptile home, don’t do this until you’re both comfortable with each other. When you’re both ready, perform the following to double-check:
Place them on a solid, stable surface or pick them up by gently pressing on their thoracic region beneath the bearded dragon and top of the shoulder blades with your thumb. Support all four legs with your fingers and palm of your hand, or lean against your forearm.
Gently raise the caudal base of their tail upwards into an inclined posture not exceeding 90 degrees with your other hand. Never grab the tip of the tail since it is more likely to inflict injury or break. The base of the tail will expand around the sex glands when you lift it, making gender identification easier.
Look for a hemipenal bulge outline, or a lack thereof.
Female bearded dragons have a single vertical protrusion above the cloacal aperture in the center that is smoother and less apparent than male bearded dragons’.
It may be difficult to see at first, depending on the bearded dragon. If the bumps aren’t visible, elevate the tail a little higher to stretch the skin and make any hemipenal bulges visible. Be careful not to lift their tail too high or too far back, since this may cause discomfort to your beardie.
2. Using a flashlight
This method is similar to the one described before, except it requires the use of a little flashlight. The genital organs of a bearded dragon can be seen by shining a flashlight from the top of the dragon through the base of the tail. This procedure is also more accurate when it comes to detecting the gender of baby bearded dragons.
Begin by placing the bearded dragon on a solid surface or picking them up appropriately with one hand, as shown in Step 1 above.
With your other hand, shine a spotlight on the upper side of the tail’s base and elevate it to a 90-degree angle. Make sure the little flashlight is positioned near the base of the tail, where it meets the body.
In a dark room, looking from the back of your bearded dragon’s tail, the base of the tail should glow somewhat red, with one or two dark shadows within the base of the tail showing the location of the bulges.
Male beardies will have two shadowy or dark bulges, whilst female beardies will only have one in the center, with the remainder of the base of the tail glowing red.
3. Size and number of femoral pores
The sexes of bearded dragons can also be determined by looking at their femoral pores. Bearded dragons release pheromones through their femoral pores. Your beardie’s back legs have them on the underside. Pores on the thighs of healthy bearded dragons resemble tiny circles.
Male bearded dragons have significantly larger femoral pores than female bearded dragons. They’re also more noticeable and distinct. Due to their small size, there is no standard way to quantify the femoral pore size of male vs. female bearded dragons, but if you compare two different genders side by side, it is easy to discern which is larger.
It’s also worth noting that a bearded dragon’s femoral pores don’t fully develop until they reach adulthood. This procedure may not provide precise findings if your beardie is less than 12 months old.
4. Pay attention to their actions.
When sexing a bearded dragon, keep an eye out for distinct bearded dragon sexes’ actions. Male and female conduct is significantly different.
Hissing and stomping are aggressive and domineering behaviors displayed by males. Males also fluff their beards and bob their heads more. Beard fluffing is done to make them appear larger and more dangerous.
Even though these behaviors are more typical among men, ladies can exhibit them as well. As a result, determining a bearded dragon’s sex from their behavior is the least accurate way. It also necessitates careful observation and sound judgment.
The cloacal opening is number five.
A vent is another name for the cloacal orifice. It is the orifice used to pass feces, urate, and eggs on the bottom of a bearded dragon between its rear legs. The male cloacal aperture is larger than the female.
How to tell if a young bearded dragon is male or female
A baby bearded dragon’s gender can be difficult to detect. Baby and juvenile sexing will not be as accurate as adult sexing. This is due to the fact that the traits required to determine their gender have not yet fully grown. It’s advisable to wait until they’re at least 12 months old to use the aforementioned tactics if you want to be 100% sure about their sex.
It’s advisable to wait at least 8-12 weeks before sexing a baby bearded dragon and then use the flashlight approach outlined above. You can then check their tail to see if your guess is correct.
The tails of females are short and taper sharply towards the base. Males’ tails are somewhat thicker at the base. As kids get older, these variances become more prominent and easier to spot. Some people propose looking at their head size. Males do have a wider head, although this is difficult to notice in neonates and should be avoided.
What’s the difference between bearded dragon males and females?
Male and female adult bearded dragons are sexually dimorphic, which means they look different. When compared to females, males have two hemipenal bulges, enlarged femoral pores, larger heads, thicker tails, and darker beards. Using the sexing techniques outlined above, all of these distinctions can be seen in adult persons. You may also detect differences in male and female behavior, as well as spike presentation.
The following are some of the simplest techniques to distinguish between males and females:
Male and female bearded dragons have distinct head shapes and sizes. Male bearded dragons have broader, thicker heads than females. Females have smaller heads and thinner skulls.
The tails of men and females differ slightly as well. If you sketched a bearded dragon with a male and female body outline, you’d observe that males’ tails are thicker at the base. The tail of a female is substantially thinner and slender. Wait until a bearded dragon is 12 months old before attempting to sex it with its tail.
Behaviors of Aggression and Submission
Male bearded dragons are more territorial and protective than females. Hissing, stomping, beard fluffing, and head bobbing are all examples of this. Dark beards are also more common in men. Females, especially juveniles, are more prone to demonstrate surrender by waving their arms.
Bearded dragons, both male, and female have spikes around their beards, heads, and throats. Spikes are used to keeping predators away from bearded dragons. Bearded dragons puff up their bodies, stiffening their spikes and giving them a more fearsome aspect. Males and females, however, utilize these spikes in distinct ways:
When a male is ready to mate, he displays his spikes.
When females are threatened, they display their spikes. When they’re ready to mate, they’re more likely to wag their arms.
Remember that recognizing all of the differences between males and females takes practice. Male and female differences are not usually obvious, and both sexes can exhibit behaviors for a variety of reasons.
Gender And Behavior Of The Bearded Dragon
Many people believe that a beardie’s sex can be determined only by its behavior. “Only guys have black beards; females dig or males are bigger than females,” they claim. Nonsense!.
Bearded man: Black-bearding will be available to all bearded dragons. It’s what they do for a variety of reasons, including dominance, mating, illness, and mood.
Digging: The digging part is also inaccurate. A female will, without a doubt, dig when she wants to lay eggs.
However, all beardies will dig because it is their natural behavior. They dig to get food or to build a burrow to sleep in. They all dig or pretend to dig, whether male or female.
Is A Male Or Female Bearded Dragon Bigger?
In terms of actual size disparities between male and female dragons, there are simply too many other elements at play during a young dragon’s development in captivity for this to be a valid observation.
Diet, heat, UVB, dominant or dominated, and, of course, genetics are all factors to consider. So there’s no need for a male or female to develop bigger or faster in captivity.
Many females have what I call “the egg-bearing belly,” which is worth noticing. Because this is a soft, chubby tummy, it’s ideal to keep eggs inside (more on eggs later).
However, it has been observed that males in the wild are longer than females. Even so, it’s still quite diversified.
Can a male and female Bearded Dragon be kept together?
The straightforward answer is no.
While there is a benefit to keeping a ‘clutch’ of dragons together for the first three months because food rivalry might lead to a higher feeding response, the issues sometimes outweigh the benefits.
Less dominant dragons may have difficulty obtaining food, resulting in smaller and frailer dragons. This is why you’ll occasionally encounter dragons under three months old with these eating problems.
After three months, the danger is much more obvious. As stronger beardies gain confidence and become more territorial, dominant behavior becomes more difficult.
And a dragon’s nature is solitary and territorial by design. So, by its own nature, having a lonely bearded dragon with other beardies can result in major complications and damage. Death, too.
Some people believe that you can have two ladies and one male. Alternatively, one male and one female, and so forth. Do not attempt it.
Even though they appear to be fine from the outside, I can promise you that this is a difficult scenario.
The female will have little choice when that man wants to mate. Bearded dragon mating can be highly hostile, and they can injure each other. It’s all quite stressful for both dragons in the end.
And, as we all know, stress causes illness in any animal, which isn’t healthy.
Also, what many people consider to be ‘cute,’ such as one dragon sleeping on top of another, is not actually cute. It’s not exactly ‘cuddling.’ This is dominating behavior, in which the top dragon takes all of the heat and UVB for himself. In this case, there isn’t anything else going on.
Putting more than one species that only actually come together for mating in wild conditions in an enclosure could be a formula for disaster.
I’m aware that many pet stores and zoos keep many beards together, but there’s a purpose for both.
The pet store is merely a stopgap. The dragons won’t be there long before they’ve taken in. I realize it’s not perfect, but any good shop will keep an eye on all of the dragons and identify any overbearing behavior.
Zoos, or at least most decent zoos, have enormous enclosures. Much larger than our house enclosure, which is about 4ft x 2ft x 2ft.
Various UVB exposure regions, multiple basking areas, and multiple feeding locations will be included in these enormous enclosures. All of these things help you keep a territorial reptile.
“You give a group of people the freedom to go wherever they choose. It’s improbable that they’d ever get into a fight.
If you put such people in the Big Brother house, it’s going to get serious eventually.”
This is really similar to our Dragons 😉
Should I acquire a bearded dragon that is male or female?
This is entirely up to you, but there are some masculine and female characteristics to consider.
When it’s mating season,’ males become anxious and restless at least once a year.
This can happen at any time of year and is highly reliant on the outside temperatures and, as a result, your geographic location.
Of course, egg laying is associated with females. Many people are put off buying females as a result of this, which I believe is completely unfair to these lovely reptiles.
Eggs can be laid at any time after 10 months, and a female will lay three or more clutches every year, even if she has never seen a man. So it’s all about being ready.
All of this is to say that providing what is required for egg laying – a dig box, privacy, hydration, and the proper diet – is never an issue. Everything else is up to that beardie.
So, whether you’re a man or a woman, you’ll have a little mischievous character in your life.
A bearded dragon is one of my favorite creatures:)