How to Tell Gender of Red Eared Slider Turtle

Every fresh owner of red eared slider wants to know how to tell the gender of his/her turtle, especially in case he bought several turtles.

I was every bit as curious when I bought my baby turtle over 10 years ago. Searching for info on how to tell gender of my red eared slider turtle was one of my priorities at the time. Of course, the top priority was to learn how to feed my turtle properly and care for her. This article will help you tell the gender of your turtle.

Telling gender of baby red eared slider

Sadly, red eared sliders are not the same as humans. You cannot tell the sex of your baby turtle. Every knowledgeable owner, vet and professionally written publication will tell you the same thing. Your red eared slider needs to grow up and become sexually mature before you can determine its gender.

Mature turtles

The age at which red eared slider turtles mature sexually will differ depending on conditions they live in, mostly on how much you feed them. Funny as it may sound; right age for telling your turtle’s gender also depends on its gender. The turtle should be at least over 4 inches (10,2 cm) in length – length of your turtle’s carapace. Generally, male red eared sliders should mature between 2nd and 4th year of their life and females between 3rd and 5th (source of this information is .

Male signs

Distinguishing a male red eared slider is quite easy. If your turtle is male, his front claws will be long. Telling a male among several turtles of the same age will be easiest. However, you can easily tell whether a single red eared slider is male too. Long claws will seem oddly long even if there are no other turtles for comparison and you can easily find a picture on the internet – for example, there is one on the website I mentioned earlier.

Also, male red eared sliders have cloaca (their end opening …) closer to the tip of the tail than to carapace. Older males may also have bottom part of the carapace curved inwards.

Female signs

Female red eared sliders are usually bigger than males of the same age. Their front claws are significantly shorted and their cloaca is closer to the carapace rather than to the tip of the tail. Also, their tails are shorter than those of male red eared sliders.

Sources of info for the article: Own experience, advice from other owners, several printed publications and .

To conclude, it is quite easy to tell gender of your red eared slider turtle once it is old enough. The basic signs of female red eared slider are short front claws and shorter tail with cloaca closer to carapace. They are also bigger than males. On the other hand, male turtles have much longer front claws and longer tail with cloaca closer to the tip of the tail.

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2 Responses to “How to Tell Gender of Red Eared Slider Turtle”
  1. Jimmy Shilaho Says...

    On September 23, 2011 at 10:45 am

    You are the expert here Michal, well said.

  2. KittyK Says...

    On September 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Great facts for this determination…

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