How to Tell if a Turtle Is Male or Female

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This step-by-step instruction will show you ways to tell if a turtle is female or male. Just keep reading below on steps and tips.


  1. You may not be able to tell the gender of your turtle until it is 3-4" long SCL.
  2. Look at the bottom of the turtle. (DO NOT FLIP IT OVER - This is very dangerous for the turtle.) If the bottom shell is flat, it's probably a female. If it's concave (caves in), then it's most likely a male.
  3. Look at its tail. Turtles have a hole which is called the cloaca or "vent" located on their tail. Male turtles have the vent located farther away from the body, about half the distance from the shell to the tip of the tail. Female turtles have the vent closer to the body, almost under the overlap of the shell.
  4. Examine the thickness of the tail. Male turtles often have fatter and longer tails than the female.
  5. Most male turtles have very long front claws.
  6. However, if a male is a "late bloomer" or has been kept in inadequate conditions, the claws may not be noticeably longer.
  7. After determining whether your turtle is male or female, you can decide on breeding from there. However, unless you have a rare species of aquatic turtle, breeding is NOT advised.



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