Those aren't sperm plugs

I see many videos, from big breeders even, saying that males make sperm plugs and that those plugs indicate the male is capable of breeding. One, ball pythons don’t make sperm plugs and two, those bits we squeeze out definitely are not an indicator for breeding. This is a male I hatched very recently at 80 grams empty. Look what popped out.

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Those are called hemi penial casting. You will have to forgive most us who have been in the hobby for a good bit of time still get stuck on the old verbiage, such as sperm plugs and co dom… It can be hard to get used to using the new and more correct terminology. :rofl:

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I did not know this! Thank you for putting this out there

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So what makes them? Is it like skin peeling between sheds? The organs cleaning themselves?

I recently pulled a stringy one from one of my males when using him to learn how to sex them and it freaked me out a but cuz I was used to seeing the gooey ones lol

Alright, this is gonna be a gross way to explain it, but it is basically the snake version of smegma. It is debris and shed getting stuck in the pockets where the hemipenes are kept. :rofl:

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Yep exactly what @ashleyraeanne said.

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That’s that I thought but just wanted confirmation lol. Thanks!

Ok, so I know in some animals (horses most notably) that needs to be cleaned out sometimes to prevent lots of uncomfortable buildup. Do they need it too?

P.S.: I’ve seen, heard, and done grosser things so that doesn’t bother me at all :joy::joy:

I have never had or heard of an issue with it causing any problems. Most of the time it will come out with sheds.

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ahaha i kinda thought thats what it was but kinda waited for someone else to say it.

It’s not even just mis-using the term that I’m talking about here. I’ve seen multiple YouTube videos by well known breeders flat out saying those indicate the male is ready to breed. I won’t mention names, but they have been around a long time and have decent sized follower counts.

I think a lot of people in the beginning may have been under that impression that the casting were a "signal or indication " of a male being ready to breed. I don’t know that for sure, but there is a lot of information we know now is different from what we learned when i first started out in reptiles. I never take the word of someone just because they have a decent following or “have been around awhile”. I’ve seen tons of people who have youtube channels and thousands of followers handing out advise and have never even produced a clutch. Research is always key and you can always find conflicting info when it comes to this hobby.

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