Learning to Pop and/or Probe

Hi all, so I have mainly only dealt with sand boas on the breeding side of things. I am normally able to sex them visually by tail structure or by palpating. I have recently started getting into the breeding side for ball pythons (toe in the door) getting a couple hatchlings and plan to get a few more to have a small breeding group. To avoid spending time, effort, and money into a “female” only to find out she is a male (or vice versa) I would like to responsibly learn to pop and/or probe. I’ve seen numerous videos over the years but am afraid to cause injury until I have someone well versed teach me in person. The vets that I have called that advertise serving reptiles are mainly doing drop off appointments at this time due to covid. Does anyone have any suggestions apart from just “a vet”, maybe a specific vet or breeder or something, that would be willing to teach popping and/or probing in person, in Oklahoma (USA) preferably near the OKC area?

We watched videos of well known breeders do it on YouTube and also the breeder near us showed us how to do it, we had 4 Royals from him.
Safe to say we can now sex snakes easy :joy:
We checked all ours when we had them (12 Royals). Just to double check them all when we got them. Now we have only 1 boy.
But it’s really easy to ‘pop’ them. Just be careful not to push too hard!
I’d ask a breeder near you to show you. So much better seeing it done in person!


I second everything above and I’d recommend going to an expo and having a seller show you how to pop and/or probe.

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@ghoulishcresties @erie-herps thank you very much for the suggestions. I’m going to try to find a reliable breeder at a local expo and see if they’ll be willing to teach me.

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It is best to do as @ghoulishcresties says. I will say learning to pop is much easier, and you don’t run nearly as high of a risk of injuring the animal in the process. It is easy to hurt the animal with probing if done wrong or if the animal moves suddenly, so I only stick with popping personally.

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Thank you @ashleyraeanne! I would eventually want to learn both in case I ever acquire an adult that needs sexing by probing, but I agree that popping seems to be much easier and convenient based off what I’ve seen and heard.