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Ball Python Male Vs Female: How To Tell A Ball Python Gender

Are you one of those ball python owners whose frustrations haunt you whether your ball python gender is either male or female? No biggie because I got you. This post will relieve your frustrations as you will find three (3) most effective ways to identify your ball python gender (sex) and be enlightened about male and female ball python differences.


Identifying your ball python gender can be challenging, but the main differences between male and female ball python are that male ball python has sex organs called hemipenes and tends to have larger spurs than females. But this is not a reliable test in determining your ball python gender as exceptions are present.

Of course, aside from this, a female ball python lays eggs that are not normal for males, as they should be. The three (3) most effective ways to tell your ball python gender are probing, pooping, and physical attributes.


#1 Probing

Probing technique to know ball python gender
Probing technique to know ball python gender

Keep in mind that when you wish to perform probing to identify your ball python gender, it is necessary to have experience and sufficient knowledge in completing the probe method. Otherwise, your ball python will be injured. 

Probing is a common technique used by professional vets and keepers by gently inserting a special thin and long lubricated probe rod through the ball python’s cloaca. Cloaca is a small vent that resides in the base of the tail of the snakes, which they use to urinate, excrete, and reproduce.

It is then slowly pushed forward to assess how deep it can fit. Assess it by feeling the resistance. When the probe rod can’t go any further inside the vent, smoothly place a finger on the area and take it out in a slow movement.

For male ball python, when the probe rod passes through its vent, it enters on one of the hemipenes (NOTE: Male ball python has two hemipenes. The singular is called hemipenis).

While female ball python enters to its homologs. And hemipenes are significantly longer than the homologs allowing the probe to fit more profound in the cloaca than the female.

You can determine its depth based on the equivalent scales of the ball python. A longer distance will tell you that your ball python is male, likely equivalent to 9-15 scale rows. This depth suggests that it caters to the presence of hemipenes. On the other hand, if the probe goes not that far (1-3 scale rows), it tells you that your ball python is a female.


#2 Pooping

Pooping is the most effective way to determine the gender of ball python
Pooping is the most effective way to determine the gender of the ball python

Manual eversion, often known as pooping, is another method to determine the ball python gender. The gender of the ball python is determined by pooping its hemipenes, hence, called pooping. If there are no hemipenes pooped out, it indicates that your ball python is a female.

But again, the pooping method requires experience to avoid hurting the ball python, especially the baby ones. It is advised to put extra care when doing this. As much as possible, do not use nails and apply too much pressure on its vent. The baby and adult ball python differs in the control of their bodies.

Expert Tip: If your ball python is still a hatchling, pooping is the most effective way to determine the gender or sex. That is because baby ball python, in its earlier months, tends to poop its hemipenes rather than comforting it inside as baby ball python does not have full control over their bodies.

When referring to an adult ball python, they have greater control over their muscles that ables them to prevent pooping their hemipenes. To do this, put a thumb on the vent of the ball python and blandly open the vent by pulling it forward.

Place another thumb to the base of the tail, and then you need to apply a rolling pressure to evert the hemipenes if present (it is a male). Be careful not to bend the tail of your ball python, and if the hemipenes did evert, its indication would be a reddish color on its middle point.


#3 Physical Attributes

Physical attributes to know ball python gender
Physical attributes to know ball python gender

As stated earlier, probing and pooping are being performed by professional vets and keepers or a person equipped with the right experience and sufficient knowledge. And if by any chance, you are not able to meet the necessaries, examining your ball pythons’ physical attributes to tell the ball python gender is your key.

These physical attributes include body size and weight, spur size, hemipenal bulge, and tail tapering. Typically, female ball pythons become heavier, larger, and bigger than males. Also, these female ball pythons are fast-growing and tend to have bigger heads than males.

If you notice that your baby ball python is growing faster, the gender of your ball python is probably a female. Despite that, it can be flawed. That is, ball pythons have different growth rates. Exceptions are that there are male ball pythons that are larger than females.

Spurs are tiny leg structures found on both sides of the cloaca. Both male and female ball python exhibit spurs. But sizes do matter. Larger spurs only indicate that your ball python is a male or, otherwise, a female. These spurs are used when they mate, fight, and climb.

However, examining spurs is not a foolproof method to identify your ball python gender because as time passes, the male spurs tend to shrink. Hemipenal bulge can be seen in the cloacal area of the ball python, and the tail tapering is at the end tip of the tail. When there is a bulge in the cloacal, your ball python is a male.

The tail base is somehow shaped in a square-like structure in a male ball python. Male ball python has a longer, thicker tail and sudden taper. While in a female ball python, no bulge is shown, and the tail’s tapering is minimal.

Recall that probing and pooping are the most effective ways, but only professionals perform these. And if you are unsure of performing probing and pooping, examine the physical attributes.

Does your frustration have been relieved? Leave a comment, questions, or clarification. Identifying the ball python gender is crucial as males can be mistakenly seen as female and vice versa. And as an owner, you need to take care of your ball python.

Start by identifying the ball python gender. Yes, it is challenging, but be informed and knowledgeable, and it should be a no-brainer for you.

About Grace Hocker

Hi, my name is Grace and I am a pet lover. Ever since 5 years old, I've owned some sort of pet from Bearded Dragons to Rabbits. I have dedicated my life to helping pets, and am here to help you get the best for your pet!