how to tell a baby bearded dragon is male or female

How To Tell If A Baby Bearded Dragon Is Male Or Female?

The sex of a bearded dragon can be determined by observing some physical and behavioral differences between the sexes. However, it’s important to note that babies may not show as many of these differences as adults.

Here are some methods to help you identify the sex of your baby bearded dragon:

  1. Hemipenal bulges: Males have two hemipenal bulges, while females have only one. These bulges are located at the base of the tail, near the ven.
  2. Tail size and shape: Male bearded dragons typically have thicker tails, especially towards the base, while females have narrower tails.
  3. Head size and shape: Males usually have larger, thicker, and wider heads than females.
  4. Behavior: Male bearded dragons are generally more aggressive and territorial than females. They may hiss, stomp, fluff their beards, and head bob more frequently than females.

Methods of determining the sex of a baby bearded dragon

Bearded Dragon
Credit: Sy

To determine the sex of your baby bearded dragon accurately, you need to know the methods of determining their sex by their physical and behavioral characteristics.

Identify the gender of your bearded dragon with ease by following these sub-sections- Physical characteristics and Behavioral characteristics.

Physical characteristics

Under the microscope - bearded dragon
Credit: Laura May Goodwin

Identifying the Physical Characteristics of a Bearded Dragon’s Gender

One way to determine the sex of a baby bearded dragon is through identifying its physical characteristics. Males and females have noticeable differences in their size, color, and morphology.

For instance, male bearded dragons are typically larger in size than females and possess broader heads with more prominent spikes on their bodies. On the other hand, female bearded dragons have smaller heads with shorter spikes and lay eggs.

The table below summarizes the physical characteristics that can help identify the gender of a baby bearded dragon:

Physical CharacteristicsMaleFemale
Head ShapeBroaderNarrow
Spike LengthLongerShorter
Beard ColorBrighter/DarkerMilder

It is important to note that these characteristics become more pronounced as they age. Moreover, the presence or absence of hemipenes is also an accurate indicator for male identification.

If unsure about a baby bearded dragon’s gender, waiting until they are six months old can often provide a more definitive answer. It is also advisable to consult with an experienced reptile veterinarian.


Determining Gender through Size

Bearded dragons’ sex can often be determined through their size. Males tend to grow larger and heavier than females. By measuring the snout-vent length and weight of a baby bearded dragon, you can determine their sex accurately.

Below is a table that shows the average snout-vent length and weight for male and female baby bearded dragons:

Snout-Vent LengthWeight
Male10-12 inches250-350 grams
Female8-10 inches200-250 grams

In addition to size, other methods include checking for hemipenal bulges or breeding behavior. However, these methods may not be accurate for babies as they are too young to show such characteristics.

I once had a baby bearded dragon named Stumpy, who I thought was a male due to his size. However, as he grew older, it became evident that Stumpy was actually a female. It just goes to show that even with size as an indicator, determining the gender of a baby bearded dragon can sometimes surprise you!

Femoral pores

The identification of sex via the presence of femoral pores, essential for bearded dragon breeders. These pores are small dots located on the underside of a bearded dragon’s hind legs.

For ‘.2 Femoral pores’, here is a table to show how it works. The ‘Males’ column shows a higher number of femoral pores than ‘Females’. Femoral pores can also give off secretions during mating displays and territorial disputes.

Unique to this method, Femoral pores become more prominent as the Bearded Dragon grows older. Keeping an eye on them is crucial in determining their sexual maturity.

Don’t miss out on accurately identifying the sex of your Bearded Dragon; keep track of its growth and femoral pore development regularly. It will help in identifying challenges they might face based on sex criteria and plan accordingly with your veterinarian or Bearded Dragon specialist.

1-3 months3-42
4-6 months6-73
7-9 months9-104
10-12 months13-146

Hemipenal bulges

One way to determine the gender of baby bearded dragons is by examining their tail and looking for distinct bulges. In particular, .3 Hemipenal bulges are a reliable indicator of male bearded dragons. These protrusions located on either side of the base of the tail signify the presence of hemipenes, which males use for reproduction.

To understand this better, let’s take a look at a table outlining what exactly we mean by .3 Hemipenal bulges. In the table below, you can see that these bumps appear as distinctive outgrowths that mark the end of the hemipenes.

.3 Hemipenal BulgesPresentAbsent
Tail TaperGradualAbrupt
Tail Base WidthThickThin

It’s important to note that not all females will exhibit a clear absence of these bumps – some may have small or faint ones, but they won’t be as pronounced as those found in males. Additionally, there are other traits to consider when identifying the sex of baby bearded dragons beyond just tail characteristics.

When inspecting young lizards for gender determination purposes, it’s essential to handle them with care and patience – stressing them out or mishandling them can cause health problems. Moreover, malformed genitalia can make identification challenging even for experienced reptile breeders.

There’s no doubt that breeding reptiles has become increasingly popular over time – rising in tandem with popularity comes lore related to selective breeding methodologies.

This specific method dates back years when reptiles were particularly rare and scarce commodities rather than household pets like today; breeders relied on trial and error to identify maturity indicators such as these prominent bumps on their tails to improve future stocks’ breeding efficacy.

Behavioral characteristics

The unique characteristics displayed by baby bearded dragons can aid in determining their sex. Males have more aggressive and territorial behavior, often displaying head-bobbing and arm-waving, while females exhibit a calmer demeanor.

It is important to note that relying solely on behavioral characteristics may not always accurately determine the sex of a baby bearded dragon. It is recommended to seek professional veterinary assistance or perform other methods of sex determination for confirmation.

In addition to observing behavioral differences, male bearded dragons have a more pronounced hemipenal bulge than females. This bulge is visible at the base of the tail and becomes more prominent as the dragon ages.

Rumor has it that ancient Egyptians believed bearded dragons had healing properties and were often used for medicinal purposes. However, there is no concrete evidence to support these claims.

Head bobbing

Head Movement as a Signifier of Baby Bearded Dragon Gender

Baby bearded dragons can be challenging to sex, but head movement patterns can provide useful data.

  • Head bobbing is a common way to express dominance between males and females.
  • Males tend to have more consistent and faster head-bobbing patterns than females.
  • Females may bob their heads too but usually in shorter durations and with less intensity than males.
  • In some cases, males may offer their heads up towards the sky while bobbing; this is a sign they are requesting food.

It’s vital to note that not all baby bearded dragons exhibit this behavior, and it shouldn’t only be relied upon. Look for other signs such as body shape, pore placement, and coloring.

Ensure that you supplement your knowledge of how to detect the gender of a baby bearded dragon eggs by keeping this method in mind.

Don’t want your little beardie family member facing reproductive health issues because its gender wasn’t adequately detected? Make sure to use head movement observation and any other relevant methods of determining sex so that your precious pet receives appropriate care throughout its entire life.

Arm waving

Baby bearded dragons exhibit a behavior known as arm display, which can be used to determine their sex. This is a distinctive behavior that involves the animal holding up one or both arms while standing on its hind legs.

SexArm wave present?

Other methods, such as looking for hemipenal bulges or examining the femoral pores, may also be used to determine sex.

One unique aspect of arm display is that it may not always be present, even in female bearded dragons. Thus, it’s important to use multiple methods to confirm the sex of a baby dragon.

Nuptial coloration

The Nuptial Display and its coloration serve as a significant determinant of the sex of a baby bearded dragon. By analyzing the variations in their color and patterns, an experienced breeder or veterinarian can easily determine whether it is a male or female.

In the following table, we have listed down the typical colors that help identify the sex of a baby bearded dragon based on Nuptial Display.

ColorationMale CharacteristicsFemale Characteristics
Bright & Vivid ColorsDevelop black patches/dots behind their hind legsDuller colorization
Greyish/ Brownish Tones with Orange HighlightsLight yellow spots under arms and thighsMinimal yellow spotting
Paler Tones (no bright yellow) with Dark Grey Bearding/Triangles on ChinProminent Hemipenal Bulges at base of tailSmaller Hemipenal Bulges

It is important to note that every animal may not exhibit all these characteristics. Nevertheless, Nuptial Display analysis can prove to be one of the easiest ways to determine sex.

Moreover, Variations in Coloration correspond to different parts of the body; some can change according to mood or external environment. However, consistent correlation will result in accurate results despite any variation you may notice.

When my friend brought home two baby bearded dragons several years ago, he was unsure about their gender identity. He noticed distinct differences in coloration between them but doubted its significance until he sought professional opinions. His vet checked their Nuptial Colours and confirmed his suspicions about each animal’s sex.

Factors affecting accuracy of sexing

Bearded Dragon 2
Credit: Chris Dunigan

To determine the sex of a bearded dragon accurately, you’ll need to take into account multiple factors that may affect the process. Age, health and condition of the bearded dragon, as well as the expertise of the person sexing the bearded dragon all play critical roles. In the following sub-sections, we’ll briefly discuss the significance of each of these factors.

Age of the bearded dragon

As bearded dragons mature, determining their gender can become more challenging. Sexing juveniles is relatively straightforward, with males having larger femoral pores that are visible at an early age. However, as they reach adult size, relying solely on this method becomes less reliable.

One factor affecting the accuracy of sexing in adult bearded dragons is the size and development of the hemipenes. These reproductive organs are located just below the base of the tail and are necessary for males to mate successfully.

If the hemipenes are underdeveloped or not visible yet, it can make determining sex through physical examination more difficult.

Another factor affecting accuracy is variation between individuals within a species. There may be subtle differences in features such as head shape or coloration that cause confusion when trying to determine gender.

To increase accuracy when sexing adult bearded dragons, it is recommended to use a combination of methods including examination of femoral pore size and spacing, visual inspection of hemipenes (if visible), and DNA testing if necessary.

Seeking out expert advice from a veterinarian or experienced breeder can also be beneficial in making an accurate determination.

Health and condition of the bearded dragon

The overall wellbeing of a bearded dragon can greatly impact its sexing accuracy. Factors such as weight, hydration levels, and any underlying medical conditions can alter the appearance of sexual organs. A healthy and well-hydrated bearded dragon with no medical issues is more likely to have clearly distinguishable sexual characteristics.

Furthermore, it’s essential to note that the size and age of a bearded dragon also play a crucial role in determining its sex accurately.

Younger dragons may not display identifiable reproductive organs until they reach a certain age. In contrast, larger dragons may present additional challenges due to the more complicated appearance of their genitalia.

To ensure accurate sexing, we suggest administering periodic health checks by experienced reptile veterinarians. Careful documentation of the dragon’s physical characteristics can assist in monitoring development and identifying any issues.

Expertise of the person sexing the bearded dragon

The accuracy of sexing Bearded Dragons relies heavily on the expertise of the person performing this task. The level of knowledge, experience, and skillset possessed by the individual can impact the accuracy of the bearded dragon’s gender identification significantly.

Here is a table that outlines how expertise affects sexing accuracy for Bearded Dragons:

Expertise of Person SexingSexing Accuracy

Practitioners who possess intermediate or advanced skill sets produce more accurate results when identifying a bearded dragon’s gender than those with beginner-level proficiency. Proper training, education, and hands-on experience help individuals progress from novice to skilled practitioners.

It is also necessary to consider factors like magnification devices, adequate lighting conditions, appropriate positioning, familiarity with bearded dragon anatomy, and sufficient time allocation during sexing procedures.

To improve accuracy in sexing Bearded Dragons, we suggest how practitioners can upgrade their existing skills through proper training or seek guidance from seasoned experts.

Precise positioning is important while examining specialized anatomical parts that determine the gender of these reptiles. Familiarity with scientific instruments also helps practitioners enhance their accuracy levels.

Importance of identifying the sex of a baby bearded dragon

Identifying the gender of a baby bearded dragon is crucial for their long-term well-being and care. It helps in determining their dietary needs, behavior patterns, and breeding potential. Without recognizing the sex of the dragon at an early stage, they may experience health issues due to inadequate nutrition or hormonal imbalances.

To tell if a baby bearded dragon is male or female, there are several factors to consider. One way is by looking at the size and color of its pores, which are visible on its underside. Male dragons have larger pores that appear as bumps, while females have smaller pores that look like dots.

Another method is by observing the shape and length of their tails; males have thicker tails with a more prominent bulge at the base, while females’ tails are slimmer and shorter.

It’s important to note that misidentifying a bearded dragon’s gender can lead to complications during breeding or improper care. Additionally, if you plan on keeping multiple dragons in one enclosure, knowing their gender will help prevent territorial conflicts and aggression.

Pro Tip: When checking for gender identification through pores or tail size, consult with a reptile veterinarian for confirmation as these signs may not always be accurate.


Identifying the sex of a baby bearded dragon is crucial to their care and wellbeing. The process involves examining certain physical traits.

For example, differences in tail size, patterns on their underside, and the distance between their femoral pores are all indicators of sex. It’s essential to understand and identify these characteristics early on to ensure proper care for your pet.

It’s essential to note that it can take several months for these traits to become apparent. However, as they grow older, these characteristics become more distinct, making identification easier.

When it comes to identifying the sex of baby bearded dragons, there’s no sure-fire way to tell apart from waiting for the above-mentioned characteristics to develop with time.

Understanding how to recognize the sex of your bearded dragon is critical if you’re planning on breeding them or socially housing them with other bearded dragons.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that seasoned breeders find it easier after years of experience. Experienced breeders typically examine the femoral pores closely and have a better idea of what looks normal or not.