Because of their gentle attitude, minimal maintenance requirements, and unusual look, bearded dragons are one of the most popular reptile pets. However, many pet owners have difficulty determining the gender of their bearded dragon. It is critical to know if your bearded dragon is male or female for correct maintenance, breeding, and general health. In this post, we will look at the morphological and behavioral differences between male and female bearded dragons.
Male vs Female Bearded Dragons: Size and Appearance
One of the most striking variations between male and female bearded dragons is their size and look. Males are often bigger and more muscular than females. Females have bigger heads, thicker necks, and a broader tail base.
Females, on the other hand, are smaller and have sleeker frames. Their heads are smaller, their necks are slimmer, and their tail bases are narrower. While a bearded dragon’s size and appearance might vary based on age, genetics, and food, the distinctions between males and females are typically similar.
Identifying your bearded dragon’s gender based on size and look might be useful, especially if other approaches, like inspecting their hemipenal bulges or pre-anal pores, are inconclusive. It is crucial to note, however, that size and looks should not be used to establish the gender of a bearded dragon, as there can be differences in size and build within each sex.
Male vs Female Bearded Dragons: Skull Size
Another technique to tell the difference between male and female bearded dragons is to look at the size of their skulls. Male bearded dragons have bigger heads and wider jawlines than female bearded dragons. This is because their muscles for biting and mating have developed.
Female bearded dragons, on the other hand, have smaller and more fragile heads since they do not require the same degree of power as males. While the difference in skull size may not be as obvious as other physical traits, it can nevertheless help you determine the gender of your bearded dragon.
While skull size can be a predictor of gender, it should not be utilized as the only means of detecting a bearded dragon’s sex. For reliable identification, further approaches such as evaluating their hemipenal bulges, pre-anal pores, and behavior should be used.
Male vs Female Bearded Dragons: Pores
Examining a bearded dragon’s pre-anal pores is one of the most reliable techniques to establish its gender. These are little, circular apertures on the backside of their legs, immediately in front of their vent.
Male bearded dragon pores are bigger and more visible than females. This is because, during mating season, men use these pores to emit pheromones. They may also secrete a waxy material that is visible around the pores.
Female bearded dragons, on the other hand, have smaller and less obvious pores. They may also have a single, narrow row of pores, whereas men have two parallel rows.
It should be noted that not all bearded dragons have visible pores, and the size and appearance of the pores might vary depending on the dragon’s age and health. Examining your bearded dragon’s pores, on the other hand, can be a reliable technique to establish their gender.
Male vs Female Bearded Dragons: Behavior
Another method to tell the difference between male and female bearded dragons is via their behavior. While every dragon’s behavior varies, there are certain common distinctions that can assist discern their gender.
Male bearded dragons are more territorial and aggressive than female bearded dragons. They may show dominance by bobbing their heads, flailing their arms, and puffing out their neck to seem bigger. They may also be violent to other males, particularly during mating season.
Female bearded dragons, on the other hand, are often more gentle and quiet. They may be less concerned with establishing dominance or defending their area. Females, on the other hand, can be aggressive if they are threatened or trying to safeguard their eggs.
Mating behavior is another indicator of gender. Male bearded dragons may become more noisy and energetic during mating season, while females may adopt a receptive posture and enable the male to mount them.
While behavior can offer indications of a bearded dragon’s gender, it should not be used as the main means of identifying sex. For reliable identification, further procedures such as inspecting their pre-anal pores and hemipenal bulges should be used.
Male vs Female Bearded Dragons: Hemipenal Bulges
Male and female bearded dragons can be distinguished by hemipenal bulges. These are two bulges on the underside of the tail’s base, immediately in front of the vent.
Male bearded dragons have more prominent and noticeable hemipenal bulges than females. This is due to the presence of hemipenes, which are male reproductive organs, within these bulges. Male hemipenes are everted and inserted into the female’s cloaca during mating.
Female bearded dragons, on the other hand, have smaller and less prominent hemipenal bulges. They lack hemipenes in favor of a single aperture known as a cloaca, which is utilized for both excretion and reproduction.
It is crucial to note that hemipenal bulges in young or tiny bearded dragons might be difficult to discern, and not all males will have significant bulges. If the bulges are visible, however, inspecting them can be a reliable technique to establish the gender of a bearded dragon.
Male vs Female Bearded Dragons: Femoral Pores
Femoral pores are tiny, elevated pimples on the bottom of the thighs of a bearded dragon. They are more noticeable in men than females and can be used to differentiate between the sexes.
Male bearded dragons have bigger, more visible femoral pores that emit a waxy material. During mating season, this fluid includes pheromones that the male utilizes to attract females.
Female bearded dragons, on the other hand, have smaller and less noticeable femoral pores and do not create a waxy material. The pores may still be evident, although they are usually smaller and less prominent than in men.
It is crucial to note that not all bearded dragons have visible femoral pores, and their appearance varies depending on the dragon’s age and health. Examining your bearded dragon’s femoral pores, on the other hand, can be a useful technique to detect their gender.
Finally, determining the gender of your bearded dragon is essential for optimum care and reproduction. While there are various methods for distinguishing male and female bearded dragons, the most accurate is checking the hemipenal bulges and pre-anal pores. However, their behavior and size might also give away their gender. Understanding these physical and behavioral features can help you better care for and understand your bearded dragon.