Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

Male vs Female Crested Gecko: How To Spot The Difference?

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by The Pet Engineers

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A crested gecko is a very small lizard and so it can sometimes get confusing to tell a male and a female crested gecko apart.

To be able to successfully identify the sex of your crested gecko, you need to be able to identify a combination of traits of your pet. Some of these traits include the bulge near the vent, the presence of dotted lines near the base of the tail, etc.

This article provides a complete guide on how to tell a male crested gecko apart from a female crested gecko.

How To Identify the Gender of A Young Crested Gecko?

A crested gecko below the age of 9 months cannot be sexed accurately. You may be able to see differences like the size of the body and head of the crested geckos, but that will not give you a confirmed answer about their sexes.

The characteristic traits that allow you to tell the genders of a crested gecko apart aren’t well-developed until 9 months of age.

However, if you still want to give it a try, you can look for the size of the heads of the two crested geckos. The one with a bigger and broader head is more likely to be a male crested gecko.

The accuracy of this identification will remain uncertain and questionable.

How To Identify the Gender of An Adult Crested Gecko?

Once your crested gecko has crossed the age bar of 9 months, you will be able to identify its gender with a lot more certainty and accuracy. When it comes to sexing an adult crested gecko, there are several ways you can use:

1 – Look for hemipenal bulges.

The easiest way to tell a male and a female crested gecko apart is to look for hemipenal bulges. Keep your crested gecko in a transparent container. Lift the container and observe the region near the vent and the base of the tail.

If you see bulges in that region, your pet is very likely a male crested gecko. These bulges have the hemipenes of your pet, which will come out during mating.

crested gecko hemipenes
Hemipenes

2 – Look for cloacal spurs.

You cannot completely rely on vent bulges because some larger female crested geckos also bulge in that region. That is why it may help to look for other signs too.

The cloacal spurs are triangular spurs present near the tail of crested geckos. Males have larger cloacal spurs when compared to female crested geckos.

crested gecko cloacal spurs
Cloacal spurs

3 – Look for preanal and femoral pores.

Another very common distinguishing factor between the male and female sexes of most lizards, including crested geckos, is the presence of preanal and femoral pores.

Male crested geckos will have small pores that run in straight lines near the vents, between their hind legs. These pores are the glands that allow males to rub pheromones and attract females using scent for mating.

crested gecko pre anal pores
Pre anal pores

The Key To Accurately Sexing A Crested Gecko

One mistake that people sometimes make when trying to identify the sex of their crested geckos is that they rely on only one method, and they don’t take into consideration the age of their pets.

Sexing a crested gecko too early will be in vain. A crested gecko below 9 months of age will not have completely developed features that distinctly identify its sex.

Relying on just one method may also lead to inaccurate results. The best way to successfully identify the sex of your crested gecko is to look for all aforementioned traits in combination.

If your crested gecko has hemipenal bulges, preanal and femoral pores, and large cloacal spurs, your pet is male. Otherwise, your crested gecko is likely female.

Male Vs Female Crested Gecko Personality And Behaviour

When it comes to the overall personality of a crested gecko, every gecko has its unique persona. But gender still plays a minor role in determining, at large, how your pet will behave under different circumstances.

Personality and Behavior of Female Crested Geckos

A female crested gecko is known to be more social and docile. You can even let multiple female crested geckos cohabitate in the same enclosure. They are relatively less aggressive and competitive.

Female crested geckos seem to be more active but less vocal.

If your pet crested gecko is female, you will observe that during certain periods, regularly, your pet will be more reclusive and will need a lot of personal space.

This is because female crested geckos lay clutches of eggs every 30 to 45 days. Even if your pet hasn’t mated, she will still lay infertile eggs regularly once she attains sexual maturity. During this period, your crested gecko will need a lot of alone time.

Personality and Behavior of Male Crested Geckos

A male crested gecko will be more territorial, aggressive, and competitive for resources. You cannot let two male crested geckos cohabitate in the same enclosure.

Your male crested gecko will be more vocal but less active. You may see it sleeping and resting more often.

Since male crested geckos do not undergo any regular reproductive process of laying eggs, your pet will only seem reclusive during shedding. It will, however, become a little more aggressive during the mating season.

Male vs female crested geckos

Male Vs Female Crested Gecko – Housing

When it comes to housing an individual crested gecko, its gender will not create a big difference. However, you may need to be extra careful of the substrate you choose if your pet crested gecko is female.

This is because when she lays eggs, she will dig into the substrate. So, it may help to take extra precautions in ensuring that the substrate is not too loose or fine so that she does not accidentally ingest it.

If you wish to have multiple crested geckos in a single enclosure, you should opt for a female crested gecko.

Female crested geckos adapt to cohabitation easily. A male crested gecko, on the other hand, can only be housed with another female – that too under constant vigil and supervision.

So, if you have a male crested gecko, it is best to let it have an entire enclosure of its own.

Male Vs Female Crested Gecko Pros and Cons

 While the overall nuances of having a pet crested gecko remain the same regardless of its gender, there are some clear benefits and demerits of having either a male or a female crested gecko.

Pros Of Having A Female Crested Gecko

  • Less aggression
  • Social and docile
  • May bond with you faster
  • You can house multiple female crested geckos together

Cons Of Having A Female Crested Gecko

  • More prone to metabolic bone disorder
  • More prone to malnourishment
  • Becomes excessively reclusive during the egg-laying period

Pros Of Having A Male Crested Gecko

  • Lower risk of metabolic bone disorder
  • Lower risk of malnourishment
  • Does not lay eggs, so you won’t have to clean up infertile eggs every 30 days

Cons Of Having A Male Crested Gecko

  • More aggression
  • Intensely territorial and competitive for resources
  • Cannot cohabitate with other crested geckos

Misleading Methods Of Sexing Crested Geckos

One of the most common misleading methods of sexing crested geckos is simply relying on one factor such as just the size, or just the presence or absence of bulge.

Some female crested geckos that are considerably large also have bulges in their vent region. Some male crested geckos may have relatively smaller cloacal spurs.

The crux is that you need to look at all factors as a combination. You cannot simply look at one trait and conclude that your crested gecko is male or female.

And you cannot just rely on the size of its body. While females are generally smaller than males, there are exceptions too. So, just relying on the size of the body will also lead to misleading results.

Size Difference Between Males and Females

In general, a male crested gecko tends to be bigger and broader than a female crested gecko. But this difference in size is considerably small and you will need to observe keenly.

The head of a male crested gecko is slightly broader than that of a female. Additionally, a male crested gecko may, on average, be around 20 grams heavier than a female crested gecko of the same age.

Female crested geckos generally stop growing after reaching a maximum weight of 35 grams. For male crested geckos, the threshold goes up to 55 grams.

How To Handle A Crested Gecko To Check Its Gender?

crested gecko
Handling a crested gecko

When checking its gender, you will have to look at the genital region of your crested gecko. Crested geckos are known to be skittish even when being handled for bonding.

So, when you want to check its gender, you may have to touch your pet near the base of its tail. This may make your crested gecko more skittish.

These tips may come in handy when handling your crested gecko for checking its gender:

  • Pick your crested gecko up very gently.
  • Scoop from under the belly – do not grab from the top.
  • Have a cushioned surface to prevent injuries during accidental falls or jumps.
  • Place your crested gecko in a transparent container.

Why Find Out Whether Your Gecko Is A Boy Or A Girl?

Finding out the gender of your crested gecko will allow you to:

  • Be prepared for the laying of eggs if your crested gecko is female
  • Plan out the breeding and cohabitation of your pet in the future
  • Ensure a calcium-rich diet for the female crested gecko to prevent metabolic bone disorder
  • Handle your pet depending on its aggression levels, which are usually high for males

What Other Differences Exist Between Male and Female Crested Geckos?

Other than the aforementioned differences, there isn’t a lot of distinction between male and female crested geckos. They have the same requirements of humidity, feeding schedule, temperature, misting, enrichment, etc.

FAQs On Sexing Crested Geckos

Can I Tell What Sex My Crested Gecko Will Be If I Get Them as An Egg?

No, you cannot tell the sex of your crested gecko from the egg.

Can I Tell the Sex of My Crested Gecko Only by The Size of Their Spurs?

No, you cannot tell the sex of your crested gecko accurately only by looking at the spurs. While generally, males have bigger spurs, it is common to find females with large spurs as well.

Do Male or Female Crested Geckos Drop Their Tails More?

The gender of your crested gecko does not determine the likelihood of dropping its tail. Regardless of its gender, if your crested gecko is stressed out of bounds, it will drop its tail.

Can I Keep Two Female Crested Geckos in The Same Enclosure?

Yes, you can keep two female crested geckos in the same enclosure with relative ease.

Can I Keep Two Male Crested Geckos in The Same Enclosure?

You cannot and should not ever keep two male crested geckos in the same enclosure. Males get very aggressive and territorial and will injure each other.

Can I Keep a Male And A Female Crested Gecko In The Same Enclosure?

Yes, but you need to be prepared for the consequent mating and baby crested geckos that will be produced. Also, you need to have constant supervision to ensure that the male crested gecko does not bully the female crested gecko.

Are Male or Female Crested Geckos Better?

From point of view of general health, since females are more prone to the metabolic bone disorder, male crested geckos are better.

From point of view of social behaviors, female crested geckos are better.

Are Female Crested Geckos Bigger?

Female crested geckos are generally smaller than male crested geckos.

Do Male or Female Geckos Make Better Pets?

It depends on your preference and definition of a good pet. If you want a crested gecko that bonds with you easily, go for a female crested gecko.

But note that you will have to be prepared for the potential risk of metabolic bone disorder.

If you want to avoid this potential risk of MBD, go for a male crested gecko. But be prepared for some undue aggression every now and then.

crested gecko healthy weight
Both genders are good pets

Can You Influence the Sex Of Baby Crested Geckos?

No, you cannot influence the sex of a baby crested gecko. No external factor can influence the sex of a baby crested gecko.

Male Crested Gecko Vs Female Crested Gecko: Which Should You Get?

If you plan on the cohabitation of multiple crested geckos, opt for a female crested gecko. Or, if you want to breed your crested geckos, even then, a female becomes an essential choice.

If, on the other hand, you don’t want an added concern of your pet being more prone to malnourishment and metabolic bone disorder.

You should opt for a male crested gecko. In that case, however, be prepared for possible aggression every now and then.

Conclusion

Male and female crested geckos have their own pros and cons. Knowing the gender of your pet will help you make informed choices regarding factors like substrate, diet, breeding, and cohabitation.

It is fairly simple to tell the sex of your crested gecko provided you wait till the right age. You cannot tell the sex of a crested gecko that is below the age of 9 months.

About
The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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