How To Sex A Corn Snake: Male or Female Gender

Are you curious if your corn snake is a boy or a girl?

Do you want to learn how to tell the difference between males and female corn snakes?

Sexing the corn snake in its enclosure in your home is not the most effortless process, given there aren’t glowing differences between the males and females.

How can you determine the sex of your corn snake?

There are three ways to sex your corn snake: popping, probing, and a visual examination. The simplest technique to sex your snake is to examine the tail of your snake after the vent. There will be larger bulges due to the hemipenis on male snakes, creating a larger tail than on a female. On a female snake, her tail will immediately be tapered after the vent. Popping and probing should only be done by an experienced caretaker or a veterinarian.

If you would like to learn more about sexing your corn snake, continue reading.

how to sex a corn snake

How To Sex A Corn Snake?

Male and female corn snakes do not have easily detectable differences between the two.

All male corn snakes aren’t one color, while all females are a different color.

They don’t have any identifying genitals on the outside of their bodies.

Male corn snakes and female corn snakes do not have different behaviors to help you decide their gender.

As previously discussed, there are three main ways to determine the sex of your corn snake.

Three methods: Probing, popping, and a visual examination of the tail from the vent to the tip of the tail.

Note: Probing and popping should only be done by an experienced snake handler or a veterinary professional; doing them wrong can result in long-term damage to your reptile.

Visually Checking The Tail

This method of sexing your snake isn’t always foolproof, but with some practice, anyone can use it to determine the sex of a corn snake.

When visually checking the tail, examine the area from the cloacal vent to the end of your snake.

visually checking snake tail

In male snakes, the hemipenis, or male sex organs, is located after the vent on male snakes and is seen as larger bulges.

Female snakes will not have those bulges on the tail end.

In addition to the identifying bulges, the taper of the tail is different in males and females to accommodate those sexual organs.

On a female, the tail will taper gradually, but the tail of a male snake will have a sudden taper to it.

The tail on a female snake will be thinner, shorter than their male counterparts, whose tail will be long and thick in comparison.

Anyone can use this method to decide, and it involves no danger to your snake.

It is a challenge for a beginner to discern sex using this method, but after some study, the differences will be easier to spot.


The process of probing your snake will give you a definitive answer regarding the gender of your snake.

In this type of identification procedure, a metal rod will be inserted into the vent of your snake.

probing a corn snake

If your snake is a male, the thin rod will be able to be inserted farther into the vent because of the hemipenis.

Without the hemipenis, the rod will not be able to be inserted very far if your snake is a female.

In a female, the probe will only be inserted an average of one to three scales, whereas, in a male, the rod will be able to be inserted nine to fifteen scales on average.

Probing is a process best left to someone with experience; damage may occur to your reptile if done improperly.

Your snake will be awake for this procedure and will want to move, so it is best to have someone with you if you choose this method to hold the snake.

Be sure to use rods the correct size.

This method of sexing is done on your snake at any age.

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Popping is another way to definitively determine the gender of your corn snake or any snake you might own.

This process involves applying firm but gentle pressure to the snake with your finger just below the vent, which looks like a small slit on the underside of the body near the tail end.

popping a corn snake

This pressure will force the hemipenis to “pop” out of the cloacal vent and become visible.

The process of popping should only be done on young hatchlings under one month old.

In older snakes, this process can have lasting adverse effects.

If done incorrectly, this can cause a lot of damage to your snake, so it is best to leave this to a professional.

Another reason to leave this to someone with experience is that you could apply the wrong amount of pressure where the hemipenis does not come out.

You might incorrectly label your snake a female.

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Why Is Sexing Your Snake Something You Should Do?

corn snake

Sexing your snake will be beneficial if you are attempting to breed your animals.

If you have multiple corn snakes, it is good to house them in separate enclosures, as snakes are not social creatures.

If you choose to have multiple corn snakes in one tank, you will want to make sure they are of the same sex.

Sexing your snakes will allow you to know which snakes are male or female.

Corn Snake Gender Identification Made Easy

Sexing your snake is very difficult, as there are no outward guidelines to follow.

Having an experienced snake handler or a veterinarian pop or probe your snake is ultimately the most successful way to determine the sex of your animal.

If you do not want to risk the health and safety of your corn snake, make a general determination by studying the length and width of the tail on your pet.

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