How To Determine Painted Turtle Gender? [6 Easy Ways]

How Fast Do Painted Turtles Grow

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

There may be times when common people like you and me don’t bother the gender of a turtle in a tank. Except for the breeding experts, no one is actually bothered. But if you are a turtle lover then it’s obvious that you want to know how to determine painted turtle gender.

As a turtle lover, I have depicted the difference in an easier way that would help you to determine the gender of a painted turtle. Though it wasn’t easy determining as because they do not have any external genitals but here are some of the easiest ways to determine the gender of your turtle.

Before going into depth, here is a table for you to have a quick look at the differences between a male and female painted turtle:

Male Vs Female Painted Turtles

Where To Look AtMale Painted TurtleFemale Painted Turtle
Shell ExaminationSmallLarge
Plastron ExaminationThe plastron is curvedThe plastron is flat
CloacaAway from bodyCloser to body
Size of the TailWide and long tailRelatively small
ClawsLong clawsShort claws

Turtle Gender Identification Chart

turtle gender identification

For a printable version of this amazing visual chart, click here!

Shell examination:

There is a greater difference between the shell of a male and female painted turtle. The shell of the female aged turtles is relatively bigger than that of the males. But this is not the only thing you can rely on for sex determination. As the size of the male turtles is small you need to make sure that they are fully matured. Otherwise, there could be confusion.

Plastron examination:

The plastron is usually the covering of the underbelly of a turtle. The plastron of a male painted turtle is curved inwards and the one for a female is flat. In order to check gender depending on the shape of the plastron, you need to hold your painted turtle gently so that it can’t hurt you. Then gently examine the shape of the plastron. If the plastron is concave that is curved inward then it’s surely a male one. On the other hand, if the plastron is flat enough then it is a female painted turtle.

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The cloaca is found to be much away from the body particularly much lower from its tail in a male painted turtle. Whereas the cloacal opening of a female painted turtle is much closer to its body.

The size of the tail:

As I said before, male painted turtles are smaller in size in comparison to that of females. But in case of their tails, the male painted turtles have larger and wider tails. On the contrary, the female painted turtles have short tails.

Behavior in case of reproduction:

Reproductive behavior is a clear indication of a painted turtle’s gender. Though the young painted turtles are not seen being reared up by their parents. Yet you can identify the female painted turtles by their reproductive act.

Starting from spring till the end of the summer, the female painted turtles are seen depositing their eggs. These eggs are deposited using smooth dirt and are able to receive a good amount of sunlight.

The temperature:

This is another noticeable fact of determining painted turtles gender. Male turtles when young requires cooler temperature and female painted turtles need relatively hot temperature. So, the painted turtles requiring cool temperature tend to be grown as males.

In a nutshell…

  • The male painted turtles have long wider tail whereas the female painted turtles have thinner and shorter.
  • The cloacal opening for male turtle is much away from the body but the opening is much closer for the female ones.
  • The male painted turtle are smaller in size compared to the females and has concave plastron where the plastron for females are flat.
  • The male turtles have long claws and the females have short.
  • Male painted turtles require cool environment than that of the female.
  • Last but not least the female painted turtles are seen depositing their eggs.

So, this is how you can determine the gender of your painted turtle easily. If you have any more question, do not hesitate to ask in the comment box below. I’ll get to you as soon as I can.

About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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