Sexing your pet Leopard gecko

Sexing your Leopard gecko
Published by Author Renier Delport Posted on on .
Filed under Categories Leopard geckos, .
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As with most animals, male and female Leopard geckos also exists. Although apparent to the trained eye, sexing your Leopard gecko can be a bit tricky at first.

Sexually, all baby and juvenile Leopard geckos look alike and can only be accurately sexed from about six to eight months of age. Larger and adult Leopard geckos have a definitive sexual dimorphism (sexes are visibly distinguishable).

The most accurate way to sex a Leopard gecko is by looking at the externally visible sex organs which are visible at the vent area on the underside of the tail base. Just behind (towards the tip of the tail) of this opening there are two visible bulges in males (i.e. the two hemi-penises – which will make two bulges with an “hourglass” appearance) and one very slight (or no) bulge in females (i.e. one bulge in the middle of two indentations).

This photo from Leopard Gecko Care sheet illustrates this beautifully.

Leopard gecko sexing
Male Leopard geckos are similar to the photo on the right and a female looks more like the photo on the left.

Leopard gecko males will also have a row of very distinctive femoral pores just in front of the vent. The rows forms a V-shape pointing to the head of the gecko. Note that Leopard gecko with femoral pores can be accurately sexed as a male, but those without these pores are not always females. A female Leopard gecko will almost always be without femoral pores.

Something interesting about the gender of Leopard geckos is that they have a so-called temperature-dependent sexual dimorphism. In other words, the incubation temperature of Leopard gecko eggs contributes to the sex of the hatchlings. The male to female ratio is slightly higher at warmer incubation temperatures and vice versa.

About the author
Renier has a keen interest in the welfare of pet reptiles. He has been keeping and treating Leopard geckos for many years and has written various forms of literature on them and other fascinating reptiles.

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