Sexing our tortoises

Kiwi8

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May 1, 2020
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Hertfordshire
Hello,

I’m hoping someone can help with sexing our two Hermann Tortoises. We have had them for 10+ years but have never been 100% clear on the sex.

We have been told by two vets and the breeder that Bowser is male and Flo is female (hence the names!), I think this is because of their tail shape and lengths.

However we have noticed in more recent years that Bowser displays a lot of female behaviour, whilst Flo has very male in behaviour. Flo is always the one to mount Bowser, never the other way around and before trying to mount ‘she’ will chase Bowser around head butting and biting ‘him’. Bowser displays a lot of ‘pregnant’ female behaviour such as becoming very restless (climbing, digging, and being generally very restless), we have also noticed ‘him’ digging holes in mud in both their table and in the garden. There has been eggs laid in the past which were not fertilised but we did not see which tortoise laid them.

When bathing them today I noticed this pink coming from Flo who we thought was the female. I have attached a photo of this and also attached a photo of both tails.

Very confusing and if someone can shed some light that would be really helpful! We would really like to give the female the best opportunity to lay and incubate eggs but we obviously need to be sure who the female is.

Any advice much appreciated :)
 

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Markw84

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The first picture looks male, but we cannot see the cloaca and the tail well enough to be sure. The 2nd and 3rd pictures are 100% female.
 

MichaelL

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I think all female. I thought male for the first one at first, but even though it is tucked to the side it's pretty short. Another pic would make us know for sure.
 

Kiwi8

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May 1, 2020
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Thank you for your responses! I have finally managed to get a photo of Flo (the ‘female’) tortoise cloaca, this is the tortoise that we have always believed to be female and the one with the very short tail in the images attached to my original post.

I am obviously not an expert but I am pretty sure this is a male?! It had gone in slightly when this photo was taken.

We have had eggs laid before which means Bowser (the one with the longer tail) must be the female?
 

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Kiwi8

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Location (City and/or State)
Hertfordshire
I think all female. I thought male for the first one at first, but even though it is tucked to the side it's pretty short. Another pic would make us know for sure.
I have attached another photo to my newest response :)
 

MichaelL

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982
Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
Thank you for your responses! I have finally managed to get a photo of Flo (the ‘female’) tortoise cloaca, this is the tortoise that we have always believed to be female and the one with the very short tail in the images attached to my original post.

I am obviously not an expert but I am pretty sure this is a male?! It had gone in slightly when this photo was taken.

We have had eggs laid before which means Bowser (the one with the longer tail) must be the female?
Wow okay then! That one IS a male! I guessed wrong apparently on two of them, so I don't want to say any more wrong guesses lol.
 

Kiwi8

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Wow okay then! That one IS a male! I guessed wrong apparently on two of them, so I don't want to say any more wrong guesses lol.
Haha!! It’s so difficult isn’t it as Flo (male) tail is so tiny he has always been sexed as a female but that is definitely a male lol!
 

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