Is this a male?

I feel so bad for this breeder. I bought a “female” from her at the local expo, sexed her and it turned out to be a very obvious he…

It turns out she somehow got them mixed up when setting up for the expo… so she took the time to drive to my place to swap him out for the supposed female.

I took a closer look at the replacement one under a brighter light, and it appears the actual “female” I was meant to get is also a male, just with really small hemipenes…

And here’s a draw over showing what I’m seeing:

I just wanna be sure that this is correct before I go bugging the poor woman again, this isn’t the first time I’ve bought mis-sexed animals from her (out of my two het pied “females” I got from her back in 2019, one turned out to be male)

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I don’t necessarily see hemipenes there but I’ve also had males with hemipenes so small it takes a lot of evert them. Repeated popping will get that area irritated and sometimes the irritation will trick you into thinking there are hemipenes. I would probe it to be sure.

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i definitely think you are pressing to hard. you shouldn’t see so much tissue even with males with smaller hemipenes. Do you have anyone that can probe?

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I wasn’t really pressing hard on the tail, I was pressing a bit in front of the vent to keep ahold of the snake… he/she was being very wiggly and uncooperative and kept peeing on me

I don’t know anyone right off the bat that could probe the snake though, most local breeders I know usually pop sex their animals

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I agree. Your thumb shouldn’t be that white and you should have to press much at all to pop. @trnreptiles why buy from this breeder repeatedly if they have mis-sexed before? I would say it does look more like a male, but can’t be 100% given it could just be irritated flesh and more flesh being popped out than needed.

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I’ve bought 4 snakes from them, only 1 was actually mis-sexed.

This mixup was just because she had 2 axanthics, one male one female, and somehow got them and their containers mixed up at the expo.

Edit: not to mention she isn’t purposely selling the animals as mis-sexed, and would likely happily give me a refund or credit of some sort if this “female” is a male — I’ll probably just let it be for now and raise her up a bit, maybe I am just pressing too hard and everting tissue that isn’t actually hemipenes.

Like I said I don’t usually press hard at all but this little bugger wouldn’t stay still for me and I didn’t want to drop the poor thing. I only popped him/her maybe 2-3 times to get a good look and the picture, so I’d hope it wasn’t too excessive.

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I’m not entirely sure I see male here. Typically when I see males, there a lot more red color present where the hemipenes are. How big is this snake?

It to me looks like a female that just has the scent glands over extended but could be mistaken.

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She’s pretty small, I weighed her and she was 119 grams.

That’s why I wasn’t sure, typically I’d expect to see more red like here (this was the actual male I was mistakenly given) but again I can also clearly see the scent glands in front of the hemipenes like with the female. I sexed a couple other females to compare and this one is the only one that has any tissue coming up behind the scent glands.

I notice in that picture I seem to be putting more pressure on the top of the vent as well, but I usually am only gripping the lower end of the body firmly enough as to not drop the snake while I have it by the tail end. Most don’t take too kindly to being fondled and violated like that :joy:

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I don’t want to keep picking but even with this male your pressing really hard. I would suggest turning your top thum to the side and rolling up with the “tail” thumb. Your tip thumb really only needs enough pressure to give the hemipenes a stopping point to be everted. There isn’t a need to have so much tissue exposed. Excuse the nails lol

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I’ll have to work on my popping technique then, thanks for the tips :sweat_smile:

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So I’m thinking the general consensus is that this is likely a female, and I may have just been putting too much pressure and causing more tissue to evert than needed?

Cuz… don’t females also have much smaller “pockets” where a male would have hemipenes? I could have just everted the teeny pockets.

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You’re correct! As someone who prefers probing, it’s well known females probe a lot shorter than males. I don’t have any probes at my house (they’re at my mentor’s when we were checking snakes and I haven’t had the time to drive several hours) but females usually probe 3 scales below the vent because they don’t have the “hemipenal pocket” a male does. Best of luck sorting this out and I hope you do indeed have a cute lil lady.

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Yeah, I haven’t learned how to probe nor have I picked up my own probe kit (I probably should eventually) but have read discussions and watched videos and knew that females still had some space below the vent even if it isn’t nearly as much as males do, because the “hemipenes” I everted on the female don’t even really look like penes at all, just weird cones with some blood vessels.

Though I have found this discussion pretty useful and I’ve learned quite a bit from it, thank you all for giving me feedback so I could understand what was going on! And I’ll definitely work on my popping technique so I’m not being so rough on the poor babies :sweat_smile:

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Looks female to me. 100% that’s what I’d be saying if I couldn’t probe.

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I waited several days and attempted popping again, of course gentler this time and using the tips given to me… and I still see what looks like small red colored hemipenes. For some reason I now realize because I was squeezing so hard before, that most of the red coloration wasn’t present in the pics I took.

I tested another of my baby males (he was advertised as a male when I purchased him) that I haven’t attempted popping since I got him at the NARBC Tinley show, and his hemipenes are also small and look almost exactly like “hers”.

Just an observation I wanted to add!

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Oh I can’t wait to breed and struggle to sex :joy:

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I don’t usually have issues sexing ball pythons, just this one has thrown me for a loop because the hemipenes are usually much more obvious.

In case I’m still just crazy, I’ll give them both some time to grow. If I find any hemipenal castings from the axanthic one, then I’ll reach out to the breeder again and let her know.

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Decided after sexing and comparing again that this “female” is a male.

Also decided to attempt reaching out to the breeder about it this time… and it somehow ended with me being blacklisted from purchasing from them in the future.

Simply because I told her she needed to learn how to sex snakes properly. I wouldn’t tell someone that unless they were consistently making the same mistakes. Especially since as a breeder I expect my purchases to be as advertised :upside_down_face:

If anyone wants to see the screenshots of the convo PM me, cuz I’m not about to open that can of worms on the forum here :joy::sob:

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Urgh!

I find popping so confusing. I have lil snakes ready to sell but I’m so unsure of how to tell so I haven’t advertised them yet and I haven’t got a probe as I have no one to teach me and I’ve heard horror stories so I won’t try it unless I can be shown & sure I don’t hurt the snakes.

I pop so gently (I’m a very nervous person) and was shown by a reputable breeder. I have an idea of what I think they are, but I’m so unsure with myself. It’s my first time popping lil snakes and I don’t want to get it wrong.

I’m going to see if I can get some pictures and put it on to see if I’m right or not :crossed_fingers:

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I’d understand someone being new at it struggling, since I did too and still do struggle sometimes — but this breeder has been doing it for much longer than me and I would have thought she’d for sure know what she’s doing.

I generally look for the coloration and how much tissue is protruding — with males it’s usually quite obvious and the hemipenes will evert and are a bright red color right behind the little scent glands. Even less-endowed males will still show that bright red color. I believe it’s because they’re full of blood vessels.

My pic doesn’t show the red because I think I was squeezing too hard, but now that I’m being a lot gentler I can really see how red they look.

Females on the other hand usually just have white or light pink tissue in that same area, with nothing else protruding besides the teeny little scent glands. No need for a bunch of blood vessels there!

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