Sexing: HOW!?

So I just found out in the worst way that my dream snake (triple super) isn’t going to happen NEARLY as soon as I was hoping. My “female” GHI Pastave is actually a male when I caught him locked with a female I’d put him with temporarily to clean tubs.

I have tried time and time again to pop them myself with a vet and other breeders helping but just can’t. Is it possible to use probes gently on small individuals? Should I find someone else to sex my snakes since the vet was wrong?

I’m truly heartbroken over this discovery since I JUST got the perfect male to pair with that individual to make my dream snake :sob:

From what I know probing comes with a much greater risk of hurting your snake if you don’t know what you’re doing. I really think you should master pooping them before you move on to that, but keep in mind even experienced keepers mess up sometimes, it can be tricky.

how big is the ghi pastave and are you positive they were locked ?

He is 500ish. I’m not 100% it was a full lock because when I picked up their tails he let go and I saw a small red thing retreat back into his tail.

I have tried with 3 different people trying to show me and just can’t get it. I’m afraid of hurting them trying to get something to actually pop out

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Was the vet the only one you had pop this little one? I agree with @thecrawdfather that probing can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing, the same goes for popping as well. I would definitely try and find someone with a lot more experience popping balls preferably balls with some size as they can be more difficult to get the sex organs to invert. I have a very difficult time myself with popping snakes due to tremors in my hands so i know how frustrating it can be.

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Yes, he was. I trusted him so never questioned it. I knew probing wasn’t as recommended for that possibility but wasn’t sure how difficult it actually was. I did ask a local Facebook group if anyone could and only got 2 people, one of each method. I’ll probably go with the popping since it’s closer and they seem to have been around snakes a bit longer.

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The difficult parts with probing is finding the right size, holding them still enough to get in and check depth, because they really don’t want you to do that and making sure you don’t push to hard when trying to find depth. If too much pressure is applied you can not only push directly thru the skin but do damage to the males sex organ. Oh and making sure you are going in the correct direction, had one person thinking they had a male because they were going up the cloacal opening.( :point_left:) instead of :point_right:

Can’t say I blame them for not being still lol. I want a reliable way of checking them without hurting them, seems nearly impossible since either way could hurt or mislead.

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I have assisted in all kinds of vet procedures, take home care, even reached in the uterus of a sheep to make sure there wasn’t a stuck lamb. So I feel like I’d be a good candidate for learning to probe before popping, I just don’t know of a vet or know anyone close enough to teach me.

I worry so much about the well-being of my animals so I don’t want to try to teach myself at the sacrifice of them. It does seem like it would take an extra set of hands for a few times so keep them from wriggling too much.

Probing is very easy, even with hatchlings. I suggest investing in a quality probe set($25-40), watching someone in person or in multiple videos, and begin with a known adult male. People are intimidated by probing snakes but once you try it you’ll see how easy it is.

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I’ll try to remember to get a pic of the probe sizes I use tomorrow.

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That would be amazing!! Thank you!!

Better late than never. These are the probe sizes I use for hatchling, sub-adult, and adult.


The person who sexed them used ball tipped probes. He used the same size for 200g-1750g. Probably the middle size you have. I do believe I can learn to use these much easier than popping. Does it matter ball tip vs not?

I’ve used both and have no preference of one over the other.

Alrighty, I’ll probably go with ball tip just to make me feel better lol


Don’t go cheap. Get surgical stainless. I’ve had the same two sets for almost 30 years.


For sure! Planned on soaking in alcohol/ethanol for 10 minutes too right out of the box. Probably would test on proven animals just to learn lol

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Search you tube “sexing ball pythons”
Mutation Creation has a very simple video on how to pop… I was having issues with it but after watching his video and a few tries i got it down…

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