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Sexing FRT's


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Posted by Maxx MacLeod on May 01, 2003 at 03:05:22:

In Reply to: How to determine gender of FRT? posted by daisy on April 30, 2003 at 17:24:10:

Daisy-- Okay... I just learned some new information that really surprised me about sexing Fly River Turtles from a true expert on this unique species. So this is a good chance to bring these facts to the attention of everyone. You should be able to confidently sex them at 5 or 6 inches in shell length. First, females always have short tails with the cloaca near the plastron. This is the case with most turtles. In addition, older females (8 inches and over) occasionally have a semi-clear, fleshy, "flowery" shaped portuberance from their cloacas. At the same time, their plastrons become inflamed. One theory is that this protuberance has something to do with sexual receptivity and capturing sperm. Only the females do this. At first glance, this looks like an infection. But this happens in perfectly healthy females and it seems to happen on some type of regular basis. Second, most males have longer tails with the cloaca near the end of the tail. Again, this is like most turtles. BUT...there are some males that have short tails that look just like females. The only way to tell in this case is to feel the underside of the base of the tail. If you have a bit of practice (and you have both sexes to compare), you can easily feel the penis shaft inside the tail, even in males with really short tails. I recently had the chance to handle over 40 Fly River Turtles, many of them adults. And it's easy once you can compare and practice. But Fly River Turtles are clearly unique and the tail length trick isn't a consistent indication. I hope that helps! I know this is a little weird but they are a strange and interesting species. --Maxx


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