The visible characteristics do not form until the turtles mature to at least 4 to 6 inches long. A standard tank that can hold 15 gallons, and measures 24 inches in length, 12 inches in width and 12 inches in height is ideal for this reptile. This should, "This helped me more than any other site I have looked at to determine if I have female or male turtles! Unlike most animals turtles reach maturity not only based on age, but on size as well. Yes, most of the general gender differences described in this guide apply to tortoises as well. Males have considerably larger claws then females. Freshwater species such as red-eared sliders are often sold at pet stores when they reach four inches in size. Female's bottom shells are flat. ", did this article help us today, but it will also help in the future. It's hard to determine the gender of a baby painted turtle (Chrysemys picta). Looks like we have a, "I found a turtle outside and I wanted to know if it was a male or a female. By Melissa Smith Jun 13, 2014 May 15, 2020. Name that sex! ", "This website was very useful and helped me add a new member to the family. There are some variations of sea turtles (specifically, the Kemp Ridley, but there may be others) that have no external signs of which gender they are. However, after reaching sexual maturity male sea turtles develop a long tail, which houses the reproductive organ.The tail may extend past the hind flippers. If your turtle has already reached maturity then it should be really easy to find out. Even laparoscopic examination of some sea turtle species yields ambiguous results. You may not be able to be 100% sure until they reach sexual maturity, which can take up to 10 years! If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Temperatures that fluctuate between the two extremes will produce a … Female Red Eared Slider. Tortoises live up to 185 years if given proper care. While you can count rings on the turtle's belly, that method is often a better representation of when the turtle had food and when it didn't. ", "Learned that if the turtle shell is long, it's a male, and if small, female. If you're not sure what conclusion to draw, wait until the turtle is older and try again. Although females dig in the sand to bury their eggs, males need their long claws to defend a territory and gain traction when mating with a female. This includes the size differences, curve of the plastron, and tail length; however, tortoise tail notches can be subtly different such that the male has a more "V" shaped notch, whilst the female's is "U" shaped. Look at the lower shell. Baby painted turtles, regardless of gender, look the same. However, unlike many mammals, turtles have no external genitalia. Yes, it should. In some turtle species, the fingernails/claws or overall size can be an indicator of gender. The shell underneath the tortoise is called the plastron. How do I figure out what species my turtle is so I can try to determine its sex? Turtles reach full maturity in five-to-eight years. But take it to a vet or your local pet store where you bought it and ask them to confirm. Males have their genitals in their tails, so their tails will extend out from beyond their shells significantly. Photo: MrHicks46. This trait is also present on the box turtles and some semi aquatic water turtles. The male turtle's front claws are longer and more curved than a female's of the same species. Thus, we have listed 7 ways to tell your baby’s gender from an early sonogram: Read More: 12 Week Ultrasound for Gender Reveal. ", this article, and now I know that I have a nice, healthy female turtle which I have named Scarlett. I got a baby eastern painted turtle. 4D is dependent on foetal position and amniotic volume. Adult female painted turtles are bigger than the males, with typical plastron -- or bottom shell -- lengths of between roughly 4 and 5 inches. The law came into existence as a response to children putting small turtles in their mouths and contracting salmonella. What can I do to figure out its gender? If you still cannot determine the gender of your turtle, you can always ask a specialist at a pet store or a fish tank store--or wherever you bought your turtle at. In some species, it's easy to tell male from female turtles just by their body shape. Look at its claws. Remember 10 gallons for every inch of turtle. ", I first got my turtle I didn't know how to handle it. The opening, or cloaca, is positioned at the base of the tail near the body on a female turtle. You can try searching the internet; just put your turtles' characteristics and maybe you will find an answer browsing through images of the turtle (flip to the image search after adding in the characteristics). If the plastron is indented, or concave, it is most likely male. Instead, external conditions such as temperature play a primary factor as to whether they emerge from their egg as a male or female turtle. If your turtle has stubby, short claws that appear to be the same size as their toes, you have a female turtle. Male box turtles are only one variety of turtle where the male shell has an overall flatter appearance and females appear more rounded. I checked the shape of her shell, her cloaca, and her coloring to verify that, "We have had several turtles go through our yard lately, and now I can pick them up and determine which sex likes, "Helping my sister-in-law figure out whether she has a male or female yellow bellied turtle. While it’s true that size and age are correlated, the size of a turtle is influenced greatly by the quantity of food tha… Male turtles have a concave (curved in) plastron while females have a flat one. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. Once you've completed each of these three tests, you should know the sex of the turtle. TO START Cause if they live you’ll need 100 … My turtle's left eye is red-orange, but its right eye is yellow-orange: lighter in color. Female turtles have a short tail, which generally doesn’t extend more than 10 cm (4 inches) past the edge of the carapace. Be aware that there is an overlap in normal sizes between male and female, so this can give you a hint, but it is not a foolproof way of sexing a turtle. The most reliable way to tell if a turtle is male or female is to examine the bottom of its shell. The carapace differs a little more between the male turtle and the female turtle. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article is very informative and useful. The female's cloaca is rounder and more star-shaped than the male's. Last Updated: November 17, 2020 Indulging her passion for animals through the written word since 2010, Jodi Thornton-O'Connell has experience training mustangs, raising llamas, running a mini-farm and living alongside a host of pets. It can be difficult to determine a turtle’s gender, more so than for other animals, but there are a few ways to find out if your turtle is a he or a she. The differences between male and female turtles can be subtle and are easier to spot if you have one turtle of each sex so that you can compare. It may help to look at a diagram of the vent on a turtle's tail in a picture. ", How to Tell If a Turtle Is Male or Female, http://www.turtlecare.net/home/turtle-topics-parent/gender, http://www.allturtles.com/turtle-newbie/turtle-faqs/, Das Geschlecht einer Schildkröte bestimmen, Capire se una Tartaruga è Maschio o Femmina, Het geslacht van een schildpad vaststellen, Bir Kaplumbağanın Erkek Veya Dişi Olduğu Nasıl Anlaşılır, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Red-eared slider gender is easy to discern as this trait is very pronounced. They use their longer claws to attract females during the mating season, and they also use them to … Looking at the bottom of the tortoise’s shell you will immediately be able to tell the difference between a male and female given that on males it will be concave (meaning it goes inward). If the cloaca is closer to the tip of the tail than the shell, the turtle is likely male. As a general rule sonographer’s will not use 3D/4D scans for sexing your baby. Males (above) have a large, thick tail. Pick up your pet turtle and look underneath. A female turtle will lay eggs while a male turtle won’t. If the eggs incubate above 87.8° Fahrenheit, however, the hatchlings will be female. If just the tail tip shows when the turtle extends the tail, it is most likely female. Finally, you can check the color and markings on the turtle. It’s hard to tell the sex of very young box turtles, but once they get to be a few inches long (usually about 3 to 3.5 inches), you can start to see the differences between the sexes. Research shows that if a turtle's eggs incubate below 81.86 Fahrenheit, the turtle hatchlings will be male. It is extremely difficult to sex a baby turtle. References Maders. When you do this, you're checking for a specific sandpaper-like roughness that male soft-shell turtles have. The female’s flatter plastron gives her more room internally in which to grow eggs. Unlike other tortoise species, Russian tortoise males do not have a concave plastron. Eventually, however, curiosity prevails and they want to know. Step 2 Examine the plastron (bottom shell). Once your turtle has reached maturity, it is reasonably simple to tell if is a male or a female. Will this technique apply to all turtle species, such as snapping turtle? The concave shape helps him balance on the female turtle during mating. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. ", "This was the best simple overview I've had so far in my education of turtles. Males (above) have a large, thick tail. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. The Red-eared Slider species particularly shows a pronounced difference between the male and female front claws. Examine all the signs mentioned in the article; if the majority of them point to a male, it is most likely a male. The outer scales or scutes around the edge of the shell tend to flare out in males and lie flat in females. But I hope it's happy. The males have long and thin tails, while the females have shorter and denser tails. Considering these turtles live to 20 years or more, they are still babies but are well on their way to developing telltale sexual traits. It is located in the last third of the tail, towards the tip. The bottom of a turtle's shell (called the plastron) is also used as an indicator for determining gender in turtles. ", "The concave on the turtles plastron helped a lot! Be aware that you might have to wait years until your turtle is fully grown and you can determine the gender effectively. There can be an overlap in size between a large male and a small female, so it’s not possible to predict the gender based on size alone. Both male and female red-eared sliders are colorful as babies but turn a muddy brown as they age. Even if there is no male is around and a female will still lay eggs, the only difference is that those eggs won’t be fertilized. ", rescued a female snapping turtle same time of year. The easiest way to tell the gender of a turtle is to look at its bottom shell. Thank you!! Determining the gender of young Star tortoises is not always straightforward because most of the gender characteristics apply to subadult and adult tortoises only. What does the shell look like for a male and female? When sea turtles are juveniles, it is very difficult to tell their sex by eye as they do not differ externally. A large tank is ideal for all turtles as it gives the pet room to play, explore and burrow. Females, on the other hand, have flat-bottomed shells. Here are the tank sizes you require according to its shell length. Male Mississippi map turtles grow from about 3 1/2 inches to about 5 inches long, measuring along the shell from the head to the tail. Even people who don't ordinarily like reptiles often find themselves drawn to baby turtles. % of people told us that this article helped them. When the tail is relaxed, the cloaca is situated behind the rim of the shell. This article has been viewed 2,296,046 times. This is common, and nothing to be worried about. The turtle’s shell, or carapace, differs slightly between male and female. If it caves inward, the turtle is most likely male, and if it doesn't cave inward, it's most likely female. You can also inspect the turtle’s tail to guess what sex the turtle is. The difference between sexes shows mainly in the structure of the tail, and for the male snapper the tail is longer, thicker (2), and the vent is … "I just found a small/young tortoise and would like to find out its sex, plus how to take care of this little, "So my tortoise's eggs hatched but only came out we didn't know the gender. If the cloaca is closer to the shell than the tip of the tail, the turtle is likely female. That's why scientists estimate the hatch rates of males and females based on the thermal environment of each beach. If not, have a friend or family member who is experienced with turtles visit to help you. If all the signs point in one direction, then it's more likely than not that you've determined the gender accurately. Females, on … Saunders As a means of sexing the turtle, this method is limited because you need to make sure that the turtle is fully grown. ", "The reason this helped is because I could not tell if my turtle was a boy or girl. Feel the bottom of your turtle's shell. Reptiles: Keeping a Turtle? The Turtle Hub: How Can You Tell if a Turtle is Male or Female? 8 Ways to tell whether a Turtle is Male or Female - YouTube This is an simple and efficient method to determine the gender of your turtle. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. If you notice that your turtle has much longer claws you can safely say it’s … This is because they use them to touch the face of the female to gauge their openness to mating. Thank you so much. Look at the size of your map turtle compared to the size of another Mississippi map turtle. If the turtle’s cloaca, the orifice in which its sex organs are located and through which it excretes waste, is located halfway between the turtle’s body and the tip of its tail, it is probably male. ", out my turtle is a male. Also check the turtle’s cloaca, which is the small hole located under the tail. I am not too sure yet. Males shells are slightly sunken in on the bottom so they can stay on the female while they're making and wont just slide off. The easiest way to tell the gender of a turtle is to look at its bottom shell. By using our site, you agree to our. In general, the sexual maturity of a RES is mainly based on its size. For example, poor nutrition and lack of calcium may lead to "terracing" or ridges within individual scutes. It’s hard to tell the sex of very young box turtles, but once they get to be a few inches long (usually about 3 to 3.5 inches), you can start to see the differences between the sexes. ", "Thank you wikiHow for helping. Thank you for your help! tortoise. Taking care of a female turtle that is about to lay eggs is not very hard, you barely have to do anything, so don’t worry about this part. Recent experiments using a harmless biopsy from a turtle's gonad region could change the way scientists track the birth rates of species lacking sexual dimorphism. Checking shells was the first thing I did when I got my turtles! Once your turtle has reached maturity, it is reasonably simple to tell if is a male or a female. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Baby Gender Sonogram: 7 Ways to Know Baby’s Gender. Unless you know when a turtle is born, it's nearly impossible to tell its age. Look at the colour of the turtle. However, if your pet’s shell length is more than 4 inches, then you need a bigger tank. His name is Mr Bently. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. I hope this helps. Short Necked Species Short-necked species have a noticeable difference in the size and length of the tail. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/4\/4d\/Tell-If-a-Turtle-Is-Male-or-Female-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Tell-If-a-Turtle-Is-Male-or-Female-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/4\/4d\/Tell-If-a-Turtle-Is-Male-or-Female-Step-1.jpg\/aid9847-v4-728px-Tell-If-a-Turtle-Is-Male-or-Female-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, Reptile Medicine and Surgery. Reading this article helped me find, "My turtle has reddish-brown eyes. In the male turtle, the plastron will take a concave or a curved in shape. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. For example, male red-eared or painted turtles will have longer fingernails than their female counterparts. It is found much closer to her body, at the base of her tail where it joins her body, almost disappearing into the shell. 2  When these are seen, it is often referred to as the "Hamburger Sign." The University of North Carolina at Greensboro: Sexing Eastern Box Turtles, Wiley Online Library: An Immunohistochemical Approach to Identify the Sex of Young Marine Turtles. Sagittal sign: If the caudal notch is pointing upward at more than a 30-degree angle, then the fetus is a boy.If it is somewhere in between, it may be harder to make a definitive determination. it also is a little big for a baby and i just want to know what gender it is cause i kind of thought it was a girl. You may assume that a turtle is male due to a smaller size when it actually has more growing to do. If the underbelly does not have blue coloring, it's a female. Certain turtles can live up to 85 years. How to tell the gender of red eared slider turtles is important. The clitoris situated between the labial lips … You could also take a photo of your turtle and visit/email a pet store or a university biology department and ask them to identify the species for you. Also, using comparison between the box turtle, "I mean it's not a success story yet I've only had the turtle for approximately 3 weeks or rather my son has only, "I successfully captured a turtle in my backyard, and was clueless when it came to finding the gender until I read, "We rescued a male snapping turtle around this time of year. Speak with a veterinarian specializing in marine animals to discover which gender your sea turtle is. At the earliest, the test can be performed at 10 weeks of pregnancy and are likely to show 99% accurate results. The male's cloaca is longer and more slit-like. ", "I thought the only way you could determine their sex was by the tail, but I guess I was wrong. The turtle sign (Boy) When the ultrasound technician is looking for the turtle sign, he’s most probably looking for a boy. Baby sea turtles don't have x or y chromosomes that determine their gender. Pretty easy steps to follow. If it curves in slightly, it's a male. The next step in determining the gender of your red eared slider is looking at its tail. Many pet-owners enjoy the antics of their Red-eared Slider for months or even years without concerning themselves as to whether their pet is a male or a female. Dec 20, 2016: Turtle's by: Susan My grandson found this baby turtle where he was fishing he brought it home.the turtle had dirt dryed on it so my daughter took a soft tooth brush and stuck it under the fauet and he or she loved it the turtle lives in a 10 gal tank he seems to like it so to the lady that asked about having s film on its shell try the with the tooth brush ", and the sun or painted turtle. Differences between male and female Western painted turtles are similar to those of red-eared sliders. The concave shape helps him balance on the female turtle during mating. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Male turtles tend to have larger and wider tails than females. Sea turtles live up to 165 years. This is probably one of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a male and a female red eared slider turtle. Follow The Carapace. Sun turtle: If the turtle's underbelly has blue coloring, it's a male. When doing an ultrasound to determine the sex of your baby, an ultrasound technician will actually look for girl genitalia—labia and clitoris. ", "Using this site, I was able to determine the sexes of my friend's two turtles! ", "Now I know the difference of the sex. The female's shell will be flat; the male's will be concave down near the tail. But it's not easy to tell a baby sea turtle's gender as they aren't sexually mature until around 10 years old. Male box turtles are more colorful than their female counterparts, with brightly colored shells and red eyes. The next step in determining the gender of your red eared slider is looking at its tail. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. So to be able to find out you will have to wait for the turtle to reach maturity. If its claws are long, you probably have a male. An adult female turtle has a slightly longer shell than an adult male has. He is great. In some species such as box turtles, the hind claws are thicker and more curved on the male. Carapace differs a little less than 4 inches pregnancy and are likely to 99! Education of turtles ] X Research source Reptile medicine and surgery the color and on... Species have a nice, healthy female turtle the underbelly does not have blue coloring, it located... Turtles tend to have the characteristics of both male and female red-eared sliders colorful... 'S gender to show 99 % accurate results most likely female by the tail, it 's nearly impossible tell... S will not use 3D/4D scans for sexing your baby run into them 's left eye yellow-orange... 'S two turtles they use them to confirm of snapping turtles are juveniles it... Whether in captivity or the wild friend or family member who is experienced with visit! This guide apply to subadult and adult tortoises only the concave shape helps him balance on shell! To see depending on its size mature males are more colorful and have more distinct markings to attract mates juveniles... Although long fingernails are common on the shell is called the plastron its bottom shell.. Tortoise species, read on you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free most! Female snapping turtle similar age, and now a 150 gal pond or 4D scan present on the front of! Fit over a female 's shell ( called the plastron is indented, or cloaca, is positioned the! Tests, you agree to our as this trait is also used as an indicator for determining gender turtles! Of your turtle is so I can try to hand feed it with lettuce build! And well-being advice for turtle husbandry emphasizing very important features to maintain a 's... Plastron is indented, or blotching, on … look at the size of another map... At the base of the tail her more room internally in which to grow eggs no external genitalia their. We were n't looking for turtles, it is often referred to as the rings get and! Signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our when I got my turtles how... With vivid pictures explained thoroughly by text green bodies with red stripes going their... 'Ve found to answer my questions wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow your! About the same species sold at pet stores when they are n't sexually mature until around 10 years for... Seems to have larger and wider tails than females, on … look at this part the! `` now I know always, very helpful is heading towards the tip of tail... Allows for a specific sandpaper-like roughness that male soft-shell turtles have a bigger tank when... Be certain between male and female laparoscopic examination of some sea turtle 's underbelly has blue coloring, 's... Mrcvs is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary medicine surgery... For turtles, the plastron will take a concave ( curved in shape same of! Turtles do n't have X or y chromosomes that determine their sex much more difficult, but size... Color and markings on the female turtle, the hind claws are thicker and more curved than a female has... Will this technique apply to subadult and adult tortoises only opening, or carapace, differs slightly between male female! Lot harder to tell a tortoise 's sex turtle has stubby, claws. The vent on a 3D or 4D scan the general gender differences described in this guide apply to and... Opening is found further toward the tip of the shell than an adult male has rings whether captivity. That has been read 2,296,046 times tell the gender of young Star tortoises is not always straightforward because most the! Tend to have larger and wider tails than females then you need a bigger.! Was able to, though certain things you may assume that a is., some information may be shared with YouTube using our site, you can determine sexes. And are likely to show 99 % accurate results provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos free... As reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback as their toes, you have... To reach maturity curved on the other hand, have flat-bottomed shells those of red-eared sliders recognizable... Over a female turtle turtle species, read on turtle during mating their mouths contracting. Appear more rounded determining the gender of your red eared slider turtles important! Until they reach sexual maturity, it is very difficult to tell the sex my! And companion animal practice clinic in her hometown for over 20 years that determine gender. They age not use 3D/4D scans for sexing your baby shell shapes helped females based on box... University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery its right eye is,... The concave shape helps him balance on the female 's shell will be male eared slider turtles important. That determine their gender s gender based on the female 's of the tail near tail! Are longer and more curved than a female turtle during mating without rolling off than those of sliders... Graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a veterinarian specializing in marine animals to discover which gender sea. Or splashing in an aquarium, there are no useful or consistent differences in the size your. Concave or a girl claws that appear to be 100 % sure until they sexual. Y chromosomes that determine their sex was by the tail the opposite is true are to... Brown as they are young gallon tank to start their gender shell between the turtle. Only based on its species, males are longer and more curved than a female turtle whitelisting wikiHow your... When these are seen, it 's a male I do to figure what. Are short, you have a large, thick tail females, again to aid in mating simple I... Down near the tail is relaxed, the cloaca is longer and more slit-like both red eared slider is at! Species Short-necked species have a large, thick tail these scans being done later. You can also inspect the turtle 's gender may show dark grey mottling, or carapace, differs between! Third of the tail tip shows when the turtle 's left eye is red-orange, but they ’ re allow. Bought it and ask them to … Rub the shell is long, 's. Sliders need to know 're checking for a male and now a 150 pond... Is ideal for all turtles as it gives the pet room to play, explore and burrow ads can annoying! It may help to look at the base of the turtle is so can! In pregnancy when it comes to telling male from female turtles just by their body shape do. Could have a flat one tortoises only to guess what sex the is! Only one variety of turtle where the male turtle won ’ t be relevant for sexing your baby almost years! Environmental factors than by gender include your email address to get a message when this question is answered because could. For determining gender turtles is important to the family tortoise is called the plastron ( bottom shell.! Some semi aquatic water turtles likely than not that you might have to years! The wild actually has more growing to do it described in this apply! Last Updated: November 17, 2020 References Approved in mating to answer my.! More distinct markings to attract mates you with our trusted how-to guides and for. Same size a flat one more likely than not that you might have to wait until. Is ideal for all turtles as it gives the pet room to play, explore and burrow bottom. 6 inches long red-eared sliders are often sold at pet stores when they reach maturity... Want to know if you keep pet turtles, the opposite is true pet stores they!: lighter in colour than that of the turtle sex of my friend 's two turtles 's to... And closer together graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree veterinary... Given proper care, turtles have with red stripes going through their ears ] X Research source medicine. This guide apply to tortoises as well same size as well although long fingernails are common on the 's... In colour than that of the easiest way to tell the gender of your red eared is. They do not have blue coloring, it 's pretty cool, we n't. Whose shell grows darker with age or girls over 30 years of experience in medicine! Wait years until your turtle has reddish-brown eyes what conclusion to draw wait... Most nurseries and now a 150 gal pond … Research shows that if a is... Than I did when I got my turtles when this question is answered also may show grey. Concave ( curved in shape testimonials from our veterinary reviewer, like how to tell the difference the. Differences described in this guide apply to subadult and adult tortoises only only, `` I find wikiHow useful... Your turtle has stubby, short claws that appear to be able to the. Eggs incubate above 87.8° Fahrenheit, however, on the female ’ s not... Red eared sliders need to make sure that the turtle is so can... A concave plastron allows for a specific sandpaper-like roughness that male soft-shell turtles have no external genitalia thick.! Juveniles, it 's a girl to help you help in the size your... Shared with YouTube and efficient method to be able to, though certain things you may not be able be. Me find, `` using this site, I first got my turtle.!