How To Sex A Leopard Gecko

Do you want to learn how to tell the gender of a leopard gecko, but keep getting confused?

Are you looking for clear ways to tell if a leopard gecko is a boy or a girl?

Sexing a leopard gecko is surprisingly hard if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

It’s not a simple matter of size, looks, or behavior differences (although some will say these traits tend one way or the other).

These differences aren’t definitive with these reptiles, so it’s confusing for most owners to tell the difference.

Well, we’re here to help you learn how to sex a leopard gecko.

The simplest way to sex a leopard gecko is to check with the breeder or a vet. Telling for yourself works just fine when they’re at least six months old, though it’s better to wait until a year old. Look for pre-anal pores, femoral pores, and hemipenal bulges on the males.

Look ahead for more details on these methods.

how to sex a leopard gecko

How To Tell The Sex Of A Leopard Gecko In 4 Simple Ways

This section deals with the four best ways for how to tell if a leopard gecko is male or female for the typical owner.

Make sure to read carefully as some methods similar to these may result in injury for your pets.

#1 Check With The Breeder/Vet

The first is obvious: check with the breeder or a vet.

A vet will have the tools to help you if necessary. They’ll also have the know-how to do this safely and without injuring your pet.

Breeders likely have this know-how as well, but they have an even bigger leg up on the vets in this instance.

The temperature determines gender for leopard geckos.

Lower temps result in females, and higher ones result in males.

It’s simple to control, and your breeder most likely has a record of what they were bred at.

This rule isn’t 100%, but it’s close.

Read more details on how to incubate leopard gecko eggs.

#2 Pre-Anal Pores

The most obvious way for sexing is to look at the pre-anal pores in older leopard geckos.

For this tactic, the gecko needs to be at least one year or older for a clear indication.

On the underside of their tails towards the end of their end is the vent or cloacal opening.

This is where the droppings come out.

Before this (closer to the head) is a V-shaped row of pores.

These pores release pheromones and other related body chemicals.

At adulthood, the male’s pores are larger and clearly seen.

They may even feel waxy to the touch.

Females have these pores, but they are so small compared to the males, you may not even notice them unless you’re looking for them.

As young leopard geckos, these pores are all small, so it’s hard to differentiate between males and females with this at a young age.

#3 Femoral Pores

Along the same lines are the pores on the back of the legs (or leg elbows, some call them).

For males, these pores are large circles, while the female has much smaller ones.

These pores are common for most reptiles and control a lot of the pheromones related to breeding.

Again, these pores on males become more prominent as they age, so it’s important not to use this with young leopard geckos.

#4 Hemipenal Bulges

Another way to sex your pet is to look for hemipenal bulges.

This is a key way for how to tell if leopard gecko is male or female.

Where the tail meets the body on the other side of the vent is where males have hemipenal bulges.

Essentially, these bulges store the two hemipenes the male will use in mating.

Gently handle the leopard gecko and lift their tail or look at their underside (if they lost their tail).

If you see two bulges on either side of the center, the leopard gecko is male.

This test starts to be useful as early as six months.

However, because you need to handle and pull on the tail a little, the chance of the gecko dropping its tail is higher.

We recommend just being patient and waiting until they’re older to use one of the others.

It may be helpful to shine a flashlight against the top of the gecko’s body.

This will let you “see” through their skin and look for two shadows, indicating the two hemipenal bulges.

Warning! It is possible to manipulate the bulges to “pop” the penes out.

This is a solid confirmation of the gecko’s sex, but this may result in serious injury if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

Things To Remember When Learning How To Tell Leopard Gecko Gender

Keep these ideas in mind as you go to sex your leopard gecko:

  • Wait until they’re at least six months old (1 year would be better).
  • Make sure you handle the gecko gently, or it may drop its tail.
  • Use the femoral and pre-anal checks first. They are easier on the gecko.
  • You don’t need to know unless you’re planning to breed; just enjoy the pet!
  • If you need to handle them to find out, make sure the leopard geckos are tamed first. 

Conclusion

Now you know how to sex a leopard gecko.

It’s not tricky once you learn about doing it safely for your pet.

The biggest mistake people make is attempting to sex them too early.

Remember, we recommend waiting until they’re at least six months old; it’s better to wait until they’re a year old.

Knowing your pet’s gender is fun, especially if you want to use a gender-specific name or begin breeding them.

Just take care to do this safely without stressing out your pet.

When in doubt, talk to a breeder or vet. These people know the best way to get it done.

Spend Less Time Figuring Out What To Do And More Time Enjoying Your Pet

You’ll save time and money right away with this easy-to-follow digital handbook. This is the guide you’ve been looking for everywhere.

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