4 Simple Steps on How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Tell‌ ‌if‌ ‌Bearded‌ ‌Dragon‌ ‌is‌ A ‌Male‌ ‌or‌ A ‌Female‌

Are you wondering whether you have a male or female bearded dragon? Sexing a bearded dragon is as easy as pie. You are going to learn how to do it here. 

Knowing the sex of your bearded dragon is something always to appreciate even if they both require the same care. It is terrible if you are staying with your beardie and you can’t tell its gender. 

This article gives information on how to tell if the bearded dragon is male or female, and more. Keep reading to understand the differences between the two. 

Sexing in Bearded Dragons

Sexing In Bearded Dragons
Sexing In Bearded Dragons

There are a couple of ways on how to tell if a bearded dragon is male or female. It may be not easy to distinguish between male and female dragons, especially when you own a beardie for the first time. 

But with the right knowledge, you can easily differentiate them. The only challenge when it comes to sexing bearded dragons is that you have to wait until they attain a certain age. 

Some physical features in baby dragons are not well pronounced. This explains why it may be hard to sex young dragons, and if they are sexed, the results may not be 100% accurate. Check below to see when is the best time to tell the gender of your beardie.

What is the Appropriate Age to Perform Sexing in Bearded Dragons? 

What Is The Appropriate Age To Perform Sexing In Bearded Dragons?
What Is The Appropriate Age To Perform Sexing In Bearded Dragons? 

The most effective and reliable way to tell the gender of a bearded dragon is by looking for the hemipenal bulges and femoral pores. Most parts and body organs are in the process of developing in beardies below eight months. 

For instance, hemipenal bulges are not developed until the dragon is about 6-7 inches long, and at this length, the dragon is approximately two months old. However, one dragon is different from another dragon. 

Some beardies have evident bulges at this age while they are invisible in other bearded dragons. It is good to be patient until the beardie is anywhere from 5-6 months when the bulges or bumps become more noticeable. 

New to bearded dragon? Check out the bearded dragon care sheet now! We had listed out all the things you need to know about bearded dragons as pets. Check it now!

Some people who are more experienced in sexing bearded dragons tend to identify the gender of a beardie when it is a few weeks old. While this may sometimes be effective, the findings are 50/50 chance of being correct. 

To be able to get reliable results whether the beardie is male or female, you will have to wait until the dragon is 5-6 months old. 

How can You Determine if Bearded Dragon is Male or Female?

How Can You Determine If Bearded Dragon Is Male Or Female?
How Can You Determine If Bearded Dragon Is Male Or Female?

As I mentioned from the beginning, determining the beardie’s gender is simple, and you don’t have to be a professional to do that. You only need to master a few steps, and you are good to go. 

Below are a couple of ways on how to tell if a bearded dragon is male or female. 

Hemipenal Bulges Method

Hemipenal bulge method is easy and straightforward but is not always correct especially when the beardie hasn’t reached the age when you can tell its sex. This means that if you decide to use this method, you have to wait until your dragon is mature.

Otherwise, sexing the beardie during early months may not be an excellent option to use hemipenal bulge method. It will only be a matter of guessing and eventually, you may get incorrect results.

However, when the bumps become visible, you can easily sex the beardies and there are no more complications. 

Both male and female bearded dragons possess hemipenal bulges or bumps that are present on the underside of the tail and slightly above the vent. It only takes a short time to locate the bumps, and this method gives the most reliable results. It is 100% accurate. 

To check on the bulges, start by holding the dragon slowly and ensure the legs and tail are well supported. Lift the tail slightly and gently and then check on the underside if you can see hemipenal bulges. 

If the bumps are not visible, then you will need to raise the tail a little bit more and do it gently. The skin will stretch, and the bumps become more distinct. 

When you have a male beardie, you should be able to see two hemipenal bulges on each side underneath the tail and near the vent. On the other hand, a female beardie has one bump at the centre and underneath the tail on the same location as that of males. 

If you are unable to see the bumps even after several trials, don’t worry, here is the alternative way. 

Hemipenes in Bearded Dragon
Hemipenes in Bearded Dragon
(Source: The Frog Depot YouTube)

Flashlight Bump Method

This method is more or less the same as the one above; the only difference is that you need a flashlight here.

Sexing the beardies using this method requires you to be in a dark room. Hold the dragon carefully like the way you did above and raise its tail a little. Use the flashlight to illuminate the upper side of the tail near the area where it joins the body. 

When you check on the bottom of the tail, you can see the light shining through the tail. However, the bumps tend to block the light and form shadows. 

In males, you will notice two shadows that appear like letter U slightly above the anus. As for the females where they have a single bump, the shadow will box more of a box shape. It appears at the centre of the tail but in the same location as males. 

Femoral pores Method

Femoral pores are also present in both male and female bearded dragons. They are spots that are present on the underside of the hind legs running from knee to knee. Femoral pores are much more pronounced when the beardie is mature. 

Femoral pores connect to the glands that are responsible for secreting a waxy holocrine substance (known as secretion plug) and pheromones. 

Male dragons use the chemical substance produced to mark territory and is also used by the beardies to identify their species, sex, and individuals. Pheromones, on the other hand, are used as a sign to other bearded dragons that the beardie is ready to mate. 

Though all beardies have femoral pores, they differ in appearance based on gender. Male bearded dragon’s femoral pores appear darker, are more extensive, and more noticeable. In females, the pores are smaller, and they seem faded. 

Bearded Dragon Femoral Pore

Checking for the Dragon’s Behaviors and Some Physical Features

It is possible to distinguish a male and female bearded dragon by checking on its behaviors but don’t rely on this method only. It is a matter of guessing, and you may end up guessing right or wrong. 

To check using this method, you need to be familiar with the dragons and be able to understand most of their behaviors. 

New to bearded dragon? Check out the bearded dragon care sheet now! We had listed out all the things you need to know about bearded dragons as pets. Check it now!

Experienced people who handle multiple dragons can guess when a beardie is male or female by looking at how it behaves but then use the methods discussed above to confirm. 

Let’s explore some bearded dragon behaviors and why the beardies display them. 

Black Beard and Puffing Up

Male and female bearded dragons display black beards because of various reasons such as stress, mating, dominance, mating, etc. But the male bearded dragons tend to reveal the black beard more often than the females. 

Male dragons become more aggressive when another pet or a person approaches their territory. They puff up the throat, open the mouth and express the black beard to look more intimidating. Also, the males show the black beard frequently as a sign of courtship. 

Arm-waving

 Arm-waving is a natural behavior in both males and females but is more common in females. A female will often wave its arm to show that it is willing to mate and as a sign of submission to a larger beardie. 

If you approach a beardie from behind and notice a sudden arm-waving, then it is likely to be a female. 

Tail Size

Checking on the tail size may be somehow effective and a reliable way to tell the gender of a beardie. Male bearded dragons have an enormous tail and are thicker. On the other hand, the female’s tail is smaller and becomes slender towards the tip. 

Head Bobbing

Head bobbing is also a behavior seen in males and females. It is a sign of submission and more frequent during mating season to show that the beardie is ready to mate. Head bobbing may be accompanied by other behavioral signs like arm-waving and a black beard. 

During mating, males tend to bob their head more quickly, and females will do that slowly to respond if they are ready for mating. 

Sound

Bearded dragons don’t have a vocal cord, and therefore, you will not hear them making sounds like most pets such as cats and dogs. The beardies are only known to make a hissing sound.

A dragon tends to hiss when it feels threatened, which may be due to several reasons. The significant circumstances that can make the beardies to hiss are mishandling, housing two or more dragons together, when the beardie gets shocked, etc. 

The hissing sound is produced by the male and female bearded dragons but is more common in males and is accompanied by other behaviors like beard puffing and head bobbing. The beardie becomes aggressive and is ready to defend itself. 

Can the Beardies Change their Gender?

Can The Beardies Change Their Gender?
Can The Beardies Change Their Gender?

Bearded dragons changing their gender is a unique and fantastic fact. How a bearded dragon swift from one gender to another is a complex process and is due to incubation temperatures. 

So, growing to be a male or female bearded dragon is due to genetics and the nest temperatures in which the eggs are incubated. If the eggs consisting of only male sex chromosomes are incubated in temperatures of 32℃ or above, they hatch into females. 

Such beardies possess more of male characteristics, but they are functional females. They have a standard female body size and tend to lay many eggs compared to typical females and have powerful maternal instincts. 

Conclusion 

There you have it; now you are familiar with how to tell if a bearded dragon is male or female. There are a couple of options to help you determine the sex of your bearded dragon. 

It is an excellent knowledge to have, and you can always check the gender of your beardie at your convenient time as long as the beardie is mature. I hope this article has been helpful to you, don’t fear to try any of the options provided. 

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