For new owners, sexing bearded dragons can be challenging, particularly if you don’t know what to look for! The fact that a bearded dragon’s slight distinctions from a female’s only become apparent when it has reached full maturity adds to the difficulty of the situation.
If you’ve just brought a bearded dragon home, you’re definitely curious to learn how to determine if your new pet is a male or a girl. Male and female bearded dragons require much the same care, however understanding your reptile’s gender can help you better understand its behavior.
Bearded dragon males and females differ physically in a number of ways, making sexing your pet reptile lot simpler than it would first appear.
Keep reading to learn how to determine your bearded dragon’s sex as well as the primary distinctions between the two genders.
How To Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Male Or Female
A Bearded Dragon can be sexually assaulted in a few different ways. The bodies, heads, tail bases, and hemipenal bulges of males are larger. They will also regularly display their spikes compared to females and are significantly more aggressive.
The technique you choose to identify whether your bearded dragon is a male or a girl depends on how old and handleable it is.
Once you know what to look for, beardies are really rather sexually dimorphic and have some quite obvious characteristics! We’ll go through all the numerous methods to have sex with your bearded dragon in this part. If you’re unsure, try a couple different techniques to be certain.
Look for Hemipenal Bulges
It’s probably the quickest and simplest to determine if your beardie is a male or a female by looking at its hemipenal bulges. However, keep in mind that hemipenal bulges are not visible in beardies under four weeks old. Therefore, if your beardie is still a hatchling, you’ll need to wait for them to get a little older before you can more properly determine their gender.
On the underside of the bearded dragon’s tail, close to the anus, are hemipenal bulges. One hemipenal bulge is seen on either side of the base of the tail in male beardies. On the other hand, female beardies only have one hemipenal protrusion under their tails.
Here are some suggestions on how to hold your beardie while checking their behind now that you know what to look for. Please be aware that inspecting your bearded dragon’s hemipenal glands may be challenging if it isn’t used to being handled.
Start by delicately touching the beardie’s stomach with the palm of your hand if your pet reptile is comfortable being handled. With the aid of your other hand, gradually raise the tail of your reptile. The skin will somewhat expand when you lift the tail, making the hemipenal bulges more noticeable.
You will notice two distinct bulges extending vertically down either side of the tail to the cloacal aperture if your beardie is a male. There will only be one protrusion above the cloacal entrance in the middle of the tail if your bearded dragon is a female.
Remember that since newborn bearded dragons’ hemipenal bulges haven’t fully matured yet, this technique might not be effective on them. You shouldn’t expect to observe any hemipenal bulges in a bearded dragon that is younger than eight weeks old just yet.
The next approach could work better if you are having trouble seeing the bulges with the naked eye.
Bearded dragons with male and girl heads have various sized heads. Males can scare animals in the wild with their considerably larger, broader heads. The skulls of women are often smaller and narrower.
While males are fully grown, this disparity in head size is typically easier to observe than when they are still adolescents.
Additionally, the spikes on a male bearded dragon’s head will be shown differently. More commonly than female Beardies, male Beardies regularly display their beard spikes. They also frequently have significantly darker beards, which, if attacked, may puff up and tighten.
Additionally, males inflate their dark bears when they want to mate, but females often only do so in times of danger.
Femoral pores and size
Examining the femoral pores of bearded dragons is another method for separating the sexes. Femoral pores of bearded dragons are used to release pheromones. Your bearded dragon has these on the bottom of its rear legs. Healthy bearded dragon thighs have little rings of skin that are their pores.
Femoral pores in male bearded dragons are significantly bigger than those in females. Additionally, they are clearer and stronger. Due to their small size, bearded dragons’ femoral pores cannot be consistently measured, but if you can compare two different genders side by side, it is easy to determine which is larger.
It’s also crucial to remember that femoral pores don’t fully mature until a bearded dragon is an adult. If your beardie is younger than 12 months old, this procedure might not yield reliable findings.
In order to compete with other men, hunt, and mate with females, males often have somewhat bigger bodies. Females are frequently lighter and shorter by nature.
In many cases, males may grow up to 24 inches long, while females seldom exceed 19 inches.
A fully grown bearded dragon will weigh between 380 and 500 grams and range in length from 16 to 24 inches. Males will tend to be on the heavier end, while girls will tend to be shorter and lighter. When fully grown, it is not unusual for males and females from the same clutch to weigh more than 100 grams differently.
Females often have smaller sizes, sleeker heads, and tails that taper at the base.
In comparison to a female bearded dragon, the male has a wider and bigger head as well as a more noticeable beard with more spiky protuberances. In comparison to a man’s head, a woman’s skull is thinner, smaller overall, and has a less noticeable beard.
However, if a female bearded dragon is angry, scared, or uneasy for any other cause in their surroundings, they have the capacity to change the color of their beard from its natural hue to a dark black.
The tail, head, and beard sizes of male and female bearded dragons are some of the most visible variances. Males and females of this species exhibit sexual dimorphism, which is the difference in physical appearance between the sexes.
Males often have a bigger and thicker tail base than females do. The hemipenes are housed in the base of the tail, which accounts for its thickness. Keep in mind how we sex-ed a bearded dragon in the last example!
Females, on the other hand, have tails that are significantly thinner, narrower, and taper sharply at the base.
This variation in tail size is quite obvious when viewing your bearded dragon from the top down. This is also seen in younger, immature people.
Observe Your Bearded Dragon for Certain Behaviors
When sexing your beardie, paying attention to particular bearded dragon characteristics could be helpful. The least accurate method of determining if your bearded dragon is a male or female, though, is this one.
While seasoned owners and breeders utilize these characteristics to tell male from female bearded dragons apart, inexperienced owners are better off utilizing any of the other above-mentioned techniques.
Female bearded dragons, on the other hand, are more prone to display symptoms of submissive behavior as opposed to dominance. Arm waving is a common way for young bearded dragons and females to express submission or a desire to mate.
But while though arm waving is more frequently observed in female bearded dragons, it can also occur in male bearded dragons. Therefore, confirm using one of the other techniques before claiming that your beardie is a male or female based on specific behavior.
Male vs Female Bearded Dragons
Many of the anatomical distinctions between male and female bearded dragons can be attributed to the creatures’ innate tendencies.
Male Bearded Dragons compete fiercely with other males and may be rather violent. In the wild, they are known to routinely engage in combat with one another as they vie for the attention of females. They frequently hiss, pound their feet, and swell their beards.
Physical disparities occur from these aggressive activities.
Males that are aggressive and very competitive need to be larger and more scary. Men tend to have larger heads and overall bodies as a result of this.
Pheromones are another way that males express their authority and communicate. As a result, their femoral pores are substantially bigger and more clearly defined.
Women are far more subservient and frequently exhibit more submissive mannerisms, such as arm waving. Younger guys also wave their arms as females do. They are far more subservient than adults, which is why.
With the exception of the mating seasons, they are often the same timid demeanor all year round.
During mating season, female bearded dragons behave differently. Females frequently dig in the corners of their enclosures before to egg-laying. You must designate areas inside the enclosure for her to deposit eggs since she frequently produces sterile offspring. In order to prepare for laying, she will also need to be given additional calcium and nourishment.
What Age Can You Tell The Difference?
Any bearded dragon that is younger than eight weeks old is difficult to mate. Regardless of gender, they all appear pretty similar at this age. At 8 to 12 weeks of age, it will be simpler and more probable that you will correctly sex your bearded dragon.
Before they are eight weeks old, caretakers and breeders with more expertise may be able to sex them.
Beardies may wiggle and move around while they’re young. Because of this, it is more difficult for an owner to handle them carefully and perform sex acts on them without injuring or breaking their tails. A beardie will start to settle down when it is three months old, though. This makes having intercourse with them much simpler.
Wait until the bearded dragon is 12 months old if you want to be completely certain or if you are still unable to sex it at three months (i.e. adulthood).
At 12 months, it is simpler to identify males due to their larger heads, thicker tails, darker beards, and hemipenal bulges. It is simpler to identify a man or female thanks to these sexual traits.
How to determine the sex of a baby bearded dragon
It might be challenging to identify a baby bearded dragon’s gender. The sex of infants and young people will not be as accurate as the sex of adults.
This is due to the fact that the characteristics needed to determine their gender have not yet fully matured. It’s advisable to wait to use the aforementioned techniques until they are at least 12 months old if you want to be absolutely positive about their sex.
It is often advisable to wait at least 8 to 12 weeks before engaging in sexual activity with a newborn bearded dragon and to begin with the flashlight method mentioned above. By looking at their tail, you may then attempt to verify your first assumption.
The tails of females are short and strongly tapered at the base. The base of the tails of males are a little bit thicker. As they develop, these variations become more obvious and simpler to spot. Some people say you should also consider their head size. Males do, in fact, have broader skulls, but it’s difficult to notice this in infants, so it should be avoided.
Dominant vs. Submissive Behaviors
Know that both men and females often behave in the similar manner before you try to sex your bearded dragon based simply on their behavior. However, although some behaviors are more typical of male bearded dragons, others are more typical of female bearded dragons.
Male beardies are more aggressive and possess a higher level of dominance. Male bearded dragons frequently exhibit actions including hissing, head bobbing, stomping, and beard puffing. A female bearded dragon will probably wave her arms in a submissive manner.
Both male and female bearded dragons frequently dig, although they have distinct motivations for doing so. In order to prepare a site for brumation, male beardies will dig. Typically, females excavate a place to deposit their eggs.
Although female bearded dragons are naturally solitary creatures, they can occasionally be kept together provided they have enough area to call their own and have been socialized from an early age.
But if forced to share space with another dragon, males would act in a domineering manner since they are extremely territorial. Regardless of their sizes, keeping two males in the same tank is never a smart idea and frequently leads to injury and even death.
Males have larger femoral pores and heads, thicker tails, two hemipenal bulges, and darker beards than females. They are also more prone to hiss, stamp, fluff their beards, and nod their heads.
In order to prevent housing two male bearded dragons together, sexing is crucial. Knowing your bearded dragon’s sex is also entertaining, especially when naming them.
If you need to give them care that is special to their gender, knowing their sex is also crucial. For instance, if a female is attempting to pass an infertile egg, you can assist her (it looks like yellow poop).
There are five methods for having bearded dragon sex. The ideal approach is to use a flashlight to search for their hemipenal bulges. This approach is equally effective when sexing a young bearded dragon.
Always be cautious while raising their tails, and wait until they are at least eight weeks old before having intercourse with them.