Ball Python Sexing

Determining the sex of your snake is a good thing to do or have done.

There are a couple of reasons for wanting to know the sex of your snake.

First: If you’re a breeder, you need to know the sex to help you determine who you are going to be breeding your snake to. Most breeders look for females that are normal, and males that are a morph.

Normal/Morph: what are you talking about. A normal Ball Pythons typically has light brown splotches all over it’s body with black outlining them, the belly is typically off white with splotches of black. A morph can be extremely different, their whole body can be pearl white, or white with orangish yellow splotches, an Albino. Or black with really bright yellow splotches, a Lemon Pastel. There are too many to even consider listing here.

OK, back to our original subject, determining the sex. There are two ways you can go about this, the first way is probing, used the most by pet stores and owners of older snakes. The second is the popping method. This method is used by experienced breeders and owners of young snakes.

Probing: To do this you would hold the snakes tail bottom up. You will then lubricate a sexing probe, which can be purchased in most reptile shops or online. You take the rounded tip and insert it into the cloaca towards to snakes tail. You DO NOT need to force it in, this can cause damage. Slowly inserting it into the genitalia. When you feel a slight resistance you stop and and place your finger at the point the probe and body meet. Slowly pull the probe out while holding that spot. This will enable you to count the sub scales on the underside of the snakes belly. Place the probe right next to the body towards the tail and count the amount of scales form cloaca entrance to the tip of the probe, males can range from eight to ten sub scales. There are known cases where the male only measured five to six. Females typically measure from two to four sub scales. Do to the variance this method of sexing is not always accurate.

Popping: This has to be done by someone with experience. When popping you are forcing the hemipenis out of the male and the hemilogs out of the female. This method is best done on newly hatched to young snakes. As they age they can control their body parts better. This is the most accurate method when done correctly. To do this method you should place the snakes head and upper half of the body into a snake bag. You will then grab the tail and flip it upside down, slowly apply pressure from the end of the tail toward the cloaca, please DO NOT APPLY TOO MUCH PRESSURE. This action with force the hemipenis and hemilog out to see. A female has small nubs, while a male has a long narrow tube resembling a penis. Again this method is best practiced by someone with experience.

I hope you have learned a little something today. There are several great books like Ball Pythons, by the Barker’s with photo’s and technique. Visit our site and become a member of the ball python forum. You can post question there and get additional answers.

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