How To Know The Gender Of Your Bearded Dragon
A new owner can identify the gender of their bearded dragon when they are about six months old. Males have two bulges underneath the base of their tails called hemipenes. Females have one bulge under the base of their tail.
Whenever you get a baby bearded dragon it is always fun to try and pick out a name. However, this may be difficult when you don’t know the gender of your beardie. You can try and do a cute gender neutral name, but it’s a lot easier to come up with something perfect for a little reptile when you know the gender. You are going to learn about how to tell the gender of your bearded dragon, when you will actually be able to tell the gender, breeding information, why you cannot have males and females together in a tank, and their behaviors based on their gender.
Male bearded dragons have two hemipenal bulges that will be located underneath the base of its tail. The bulges are from hemipenes. Hemipenes are the male’s internal sex organ. You will have to gently raise the tail to actually see. If you can’t tell right away, you can rub around that spot to see how many bulges you feel. You can even hold a flashlight up to the base of the tail from the underneath. You will be able to see through the skin just enough to see the bulges. The bulges will be in the shape of a U.
Female bearded dragons have one bulge that is located underneath the base of the tail. The single bulge is located right at the center. Just gently lift up the tail to look or use the flashlight method. You will be able to see the bulge from the inside. Unlike the males bulge shape, the female bulge will actually be more of a box shape. The name of the female’s opening is the cloaca.
Both male and female bearded dragons have femoral pores underneath their back legs. This is how bearded dragons can excrete hormones during mating season. However, a male’s pores are much more noticeable than a female’s.
When You Can Tell
It is nearly impossible to tell the gender of your bearded dragon when it has hatched from the egg. It is going to take a lot longer than four weeks to actually be able to tell. It is not noticeable for a regular people like us to be able to know the gender until they are about five or six months old. Only an expert would be able to tell before then. If you are a first time owner, you will be able to tell at the six month mark.
If you do plan on breeding your bearded dragon, there are a few things you need to know to provide the best environment for them.
Bearded dragons need to be extremely healthy and on a solid diet before you breed them. This means that you need to have calcium powder in their diet, proper humidity, and sufficient UVB lighting.
The male and female both need to be at sexual maturity as well. Similar size and weight will be beneficial for both the male and the female. The male will puff out his beard and make it dark to grab the attention of the female. Males will climb onto the female’s back and insert his hemipenes into the female’s cloaca. The male might even bite the female’s neck to be in the right position.
When you put a male and female bearded dragon together for breeding, they both need to have their own little place to escape to when they are done. It would be best if each had a perch or den that they could go to. You would definitely want to take one of them out of the enclosure afterwards because they cannot stay in there together for a long period of time. For optimal breeding, you can put the female back into the terrarium once a week until you see successful mating.
Females lay their eggs around four to six weeks after mating.
Can You Keep Them Together?
The answer to that question is a hard no. Males cannot be with female bearded dragons once they have reached sexual maturity. The males will become more dominant over the females and start to show aggressive behaviors.
The competition for food will also be an issue. The female won’t have a choice either about mating.
Both bearded dragons will be stressed being housed together and stress is going to lead to a lot of illnesses.
I don’t recommend having more than one bearded dragon in a tank together in the first place. You will see an increase in unwanted behaviors.
Bearded dragons are better off in their own terrariums. Even if they are both male or both female, they need their own enclosure.
Two male bearded dragons will not end well in a tank together once they are around three months old or older. They will show aggressive behaviors like flaring their beards, head bobbing, and even charging at one another.
The competition for food will be another problem. The dominant bearded dragon is going to eat most of the food while the other will not get enough nutrients that it needs to stay healthy.
They will also compete for light and heat. Stacking is a common behavior when they are babies, but you will see this happen when they are older too. We think it is cute to watch them stack, but they aren’t cuddling.
The dominant bearded dragon climbs to the top, getting optimal heat. The less dominant bearded dragons are stuck on bottom both getting crushed and getting less heat exposure. Stacking is not a good thing for bearded dragons at all. The bearded dragon that is not getting enough exposure will become very sick.
Another aggressive behavior you will see is biting. Males bite the females during mating. If you are trying to breed bearded dragons on purpose, this is something you are going to have to deal with. However, most people are not trying to breed their beardies. So, if you get a male and a female, you cannot keep them together.
Male Or Female?
Now you are probably wondering which gender you would prefer to have. I have a male and he has been around both a male and female bearded dragon before. He tried to mate with the female immediately and I quickly separated them. When he was around another male, he just puffed out his beard and kept an eye on the other male. Neither one of them tried to fight, but it is always a possibility that this could happen. I would say that overall, my male is a very docile and a fairly lazy bearded dragon. He does not want to bite anyone or other beardies. There is always potential for him to not be so docile if he ever encounters another beardie.
I have never owned a female bearded dragon. I do know that they dig a lot to lay their eggs. This might turn people away from buying a female, but they are still just as great as males. Females are most likely very sweet and docile as well.
You can’t go wrong either way getting a male or a female.
Some people believe that male bearded dragons are often bigger while females are smaller. This could be true for some cases, but it does not accurately tell you the gender of a bearded dragon. Just gently look to see if there are two bulges or just one. Look to see if the pores are more prominent or not. Telling the gender is easy for first time owners around six months. If you want to know sooner, you’ll have to go see an expert.
Keep them separated if you decide to get more than one bearded dragon. You don’t want to cause them potential stress and illness. Getting either a male or a female will bring you a lot of happiness.