Bearded dragon sexing

There are various reasons why keepers might want to know the gender/sex of a Bearded dragon. Bearded dragons show, what is called, sexual dimorphism, meaning that sexes are visually distinguishable. Growing Bearded dragons can generally only be accurately sexed from six to eight months of age or when they reach 25 to 30 cm / 10 to 12 ” in length (snout-to-tail).

Generally, male Bearded dragons have bigger heads and more slender bodies when compared with similar-sized females. Female Bearded dragons have more rounded bodies with smaller heads. Males also have darker beards and a thicker tail base when compared with females. A more accurate way to distinguish between Bearded dragon sexes is to look for the presence of hemipenal bulges and/or femoral pores.

Bearded dragon sexing

The most accurate way to sex Bearded dragons is by looking at the vent area on the underside of the tail base. Just behind (towards the tip of the tail) of this opening, there will be two visible bulges in males (called the Hemi-penises – which will make two bulges with an ‘hourglass’ indentation in the middle) and one very slight bulge in females (i.e. one bulge in the middle of two indentations).

The tail base area of a male Bearded dragon. Note the two Hemi-penal bulges situation on the base of the tail, just above the vent area.

The tail base area of a female Bearded dragon. Note the absence of bulges on the base of the tail, just above the vent area.

In some cases, the femoral pores, which are more distinctive in males, can also aid in sexing. Bearded dragons with distinctive femoral pores can be positively identified as males, but adults without these pores are not necessarily females (i.e. some males might not have femoral pores). A female will almost always be without femoral pores.

Male Bearded dragon with distinctive femoral pores. Note the small, circular structures on the legs and below the vent area.

Female Bearded dragon without femoral pores. Not all Male Bearded dragons will have femoral pores, but all female Bearded dragons will be without them.