There are quite a few techniques for determining the sex of a bearded dragon. New keepers may use the easier and simpler ones, which are easy to learn and do not cause any stress or harm to the beloved pet. While the experts and veterinarians continue to use some of the difficult yet accurate ways to sex a bearded dragon. However, every dragon owner should know how to tell the gender of a bearded dragon.
Although the male and female bearded dragons need the same care and have the same petting needs, they are set apart with some basic differences in their physical appearances. As your Beardie grows older, it becomes easier to figure out its gender, which means, it is very difficult to tell the gender of a baby bearded dragon but very easy to do for an adult bearded dragon. The physical features are more prominent for the grown reptiles.
5 Ways To Tell If A Bearded Dragon Is Male Or Female
Here is how dragon keepers can tell the gender of a bearded dragon in 5 easy ways.
1. Hemipenal Bulges
It is easier to identify a male or female dragon using the more prominent features that are easily detectable by the naked eye. The hemipenes of the internal sex organs in reptiles are not visible, however, the hemipenal bulges are proof of their existence and can be used to detect the gender of your pet within a minute. To use this way of sexing the bearded dragon, you must handle the dragon in a careful manner that helps you to examine the backside of the beardie next to the back of the tail.
Gently hold the dragon from the stomach and hold the tail away from the base and lift it slightly upwards. This position perfectly causes a stretch and emphasizes the outline of the hemipenal bulge.
Now, the final decision-making feature, the defined vertical grooves declining towards the cloacal opening. If you see two prominent hemipenal grooves or bulges, then the bearded dragon is a male, and if you spot only one smooth hemipenal bulge, then you have a female bearded dragon. This method requires gentle handling of the tail to avoid any stress, damage, or discomfort to the docile pet and is not applicable for baby dragons. However, this easier method can be used on every grown beardie and one can also confirm his observation by using any other method too.
2. Using A Flashlight
You can examine the hemipenal bulges on the underside of the beardie using a flashlight to have a clearer and more confirmed answer.
Place the dragon’s stomach on the palm of your hand, and lift the tail higher so that the base of the tail is visible. Turn on the flashlight and look at the back of the bearded dragon’s tail. You will be quick to find one or two red bulges and their obvious shadows. Remember, one hemipenal bulge in the middle indicates a female bearded dragon and two indicate a male bearded dragon.
3. Size of Femoral Pores
Another smart way to tell the gender of a beardie is to check the size of the femoral pores on the underside of the body. Grown bearded dragons secrete pheromones through the femoral pores during social interactions or breeding with other dragons. When a dragon reaches adulthood means it is older than 12 months, it develops femoral pores on the underside of the thighs. They are tiny circles invading the entire back of the thigh of a grown dragon.
Males have larger circles or pores and are very obvious if examined by a naked eye. While on the other hand, females have smaller pores that are not very distinguished. This might be the easiest method to tell the gender of a bearded dragon if your dragon is an adult.
4. Cloacal Opening
This method is for dragons older than 12 weeks. Therefore, it is not applicable to younger or baby bearded dragons. The cloacal opening is the hole at the underside of the dragon, situated between the two rear legs. The opening is used for passing feces, or urine and for laying eggs. The males have a larger cloacal opening while the females have a smaller one. The difference in width of the cloacal openings for both genders can easily be distinguished.
5. Different Behavior
Like all living beings on the planet, female and male bearded dragons differ in behavior too. The male gender is more aggressive and so shows their dominance with more frequent head bobbing, stomping, hissing, and beard fluffing. On the other hand, females are gentler and show submissive behavior. You will rarely see them fluffing their beards, and they also don’t bob their heads often. Whereas they do wave their hands often, this gesture shows they are ready for mating and breeding.
You must know how to tell the gender of a bearded dragon if you own one. It will help you understand their behavioral changes and take better care. The ways include identifying the number of hemipenal bulges, observing the size of femoral pores and also the cloacal opening, and observing the behavior too. However, to sex a dragon accurately, you need to have an adult bearded dragon, as these methods will only work for sexually active beardies and not the baby or juvenile dragons.
At what age can I tell the gender of my dragon accurately?
Bearded dragons younger than eight weeks are very difficult to have sex with. You can accurately tell the gender of the dragons that are at least older than 8-12 weeks. The sexual physical features are only prominent enough after this age.
Which gender of bearded dragons has bigger heads?
The male bearded dragon has a bigger head as compared to the female bearded dragon. If you see both the sexes of the same age, next to each other, you will easily identify the male and the female dragons.
Are male bearded dragons larger than female bearded dragons?
Yes! Adult male bearded dragons are larger in size. They have a bigger head, thicker tail, larger femoral pores, and a wider cloacal opening as compared to an adult female bearded dragon.
Emma is a pet enthusiast, and her way with words makes her an expressive writer. Her interests lie in healthcare and planning nutrition for various pets. She has two girls, and she’s passing her passion to them through occasional volunteer projects in the small neighborhood zoo. Emma joined our team as an enthusiast and has added more years to her experience by researching more about various creatures!