How to Tell if My Turtle is Male or Female

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hey turtle nerds welcome back to another

video excuse me guys do you mind so in

today's video I am going to be telling

you how to determine the sex of your

turtle whether it's a male or it's a

female so first off a couple things

thank you guys for a thousand

subscribers I will be making a fun

little video to celebrate that and also

I apologize for not uploading a video in

the last week it's just that sometimes I

get really busy in college and things

really pick up and I kind of have very

slow momentum in very quick moments this

was one of those time intensive a lot of

work that got put on me midterms and

things like that so the first thing that

we're gonna cover is how to determine

whether or not a turtle will be a male

or a female now unlike in people and

mammals you can actually determine the

sex of your turtle

if you incubate at different

temperatures now this is an interesting

survival tactic called temperature

dependent sex so if you incubate turtle

eggs in the low 80s or the high 70s

you're almost guaranteed to get a male

now if you incubate the eggs in the

mid-80s you're kind of going to get a

mix of male and female but if the

temperatures are higher up in the high

80s then you are almost guaranteed to

get a female now this is some type of a

survival instinct that scientists aren't

even entirely sure why it happens yet

but they're sure that it is in fact true

and this has been proven many many times

amongst breeders so that's how they

actually determine whether they are male

or female until a couple years later now

a very important thing is that you

actually can't determine the sex of your

turtle if you don't know the temperature

that it was incubated at or if it's less

than 3 or 4 inches so this doesn't

really have to do with age necessarily

but size so for example my turtles at

about 8 months old they were about 3 or

4 inches and I was able to begin telling

the males and the females apart now

Turtles exhibit something called sexual

dimorphism which basically means that

the males are going to

differently physically then the females

do and sometimes it's a bit difficult to

see but once they're adults it's quite

easy to tell them apart so in most

species such as your sliders or your

Cooter's a really good way to tell is

going to be their nails so male sliders

and Cooter's actually have a really

really long claws and they have these

really long nails and they begin doing

something like this at different objects

that's their mating dance so that's one

really easy way to tell a male from a

female slider or cooter now this is not

true in all species for example my

Terrapins the nails are all relatively

the same length but basically you can

only use that to determine to certain

species this does not work on Musk's I

don't think it works on painted turtles

it doesn't work on Terrapins

now the tell-tale way to tell if your

turtle is a male or a female is to check

their tail so there's a bit difference

between being able to tell the sex of

your turtle and whether or not it's

actually fertile and ready to breed so

for example none of these turtles that I

have right here should be able to breed

and that's very simple it's because

they're just too young now despite how

young they are they're only a year old

each we can go ahead and determine

whether they're male or female if you

take a look at their tails always a dead


when in doubt this is true in tortoise

species as well so right here we're

gonna go ahead and take a look I'm gonna

show you what a male looks like so

remember earlier when I was talking

about sexual dimorphism this is present

in Terrapins and almost all other turtle

species where the males are much smaller

than the females so as you can see

here's bean she's quite large and

compared to those other two they're much

smaller than her that's just a that's

only useful if you can compare the two

but the best way to tell is if we take

this boy right here now look at that


see how big and fat that thing is how

there's claws hurt and put him down see

if pancake will be nicer now you can see

how big and fat this tail is a little

difficult to do with one hand but you

see how long and thick it is all even

all the way down he's got a pretty

monstrous tail and as you can see

there's that little slit I'm gonna try

to do a freeze-frame and circle it that

little slit is the cloaca that's where

his stop beam that's where the magic

happens pretty much stop it love and

that's how they pretty much breed but on

the females so on the male's the cloaca

is much further down it's right about

there now on females she's a bit larger

as you can see see how skinny the tail

is and the Khloe cos right there all the

way up it's quite far as you can see

it's kind of further up and her tail is

much skinnier compared to the other two

you can see how just small it is in

general she is not happy with me the

tail is the sure sign whether or not

your turtles a male or a female however

one other thing is that the females like

I said are larger stop that don't bite

me but if you take a look at the head

size in female Terrapins they're much

much larger than the males so here is

bean do you see her head compared to my

thumb did you see how wide it is she's a

very very wide and big head now if we

grab this fella right here he's also a

year old my thumb pretty much covers his

head as you can see it's not as wide or

as big as beans head that is an example

of that sexual dimorphism that I was

talking about it's the size and the size

of the head and those are the only real

physical characteristics that

distinguish male from

female Terrapins however in the sliders

and your cooter species those nails are

gonna be a dead giveaway they are

probably three times as long as these

nails here much longer than those so now

that you know whether your turtle is a

male or a female I'm going to tell you

guys a little bit more about sexual

maturity in these species and basically

what to look out for so males are

usually mature in most sliders and

Terrapins and musk turtles usually

around three to four years old sometimes

then they're two years old but usually

they have to be about four or five

inches and a couple years old

usually three if not four now in females

they need to be large enough to lay eggs

and they need to be around the minimum

that I have found is usually four years


and the maximum age I know some people

who have females who have laid eggs but

they're non fertile and they're six

years old or they're five years old

going on to be six once you hit that six

of the year usually if you have a hurdle

male you're going to begin getting some

fertile eggs now some species are

different for example my spotted turtle

right there he doesn't reach sexual

maturity for about seven years which is

kind of interesting and I did not know

before I got him which is fine I don't

really have any breeding plants but I

just thought I'd let you guys know that

this is not a guarantee in every turtle

species some are different from others

so these Terrapins reach maturity

relatively quickly and three to four

years for males and four to six years in

females and spotted are a lot more than

that so just to sum everything up turtle

sex is temperature dependent as far as

incubation temperatures they have to be

around three to four inches before you

can begin determining whether it is a

male or a female and they usually reach

maturity after about three to six

years anywhere between them and they are

sexually mature now this is also a very

rough guideline this is not going to be

for every species this is more slider

cooter and Terrapin specific musket

turtles as well but again a sure way to

tell is looking at that tail thank you

all so much for watching if you want to

see more of bean and pancake and little

Joey down there and the new boy who we

have yet to name please leave a comment

or subscribe to see them and leave a

like to let me know that I did a good

job on this video thank you guys so much

for watching and I will see you all in

the next one