This can't be happening (again)?! Warning:tortoise bits

Slow and steady

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Ugh. Looks like my flat-plastroned, tiny-tailed female (10 1/2", 4 y/o) just showed me a bit of her man junk the other day. I've read threads where it is suggested that females also flash, but I find no pictures of such. Any chance this isn't exactly what I think it it is? I'm really hoping some of our more experienced keepers and breeders will tell me otherwise.
This one really seems to be walking and quacking like a duck though...

20181109_084042.jpg 20181109_084039.jpg 20181105_154542.jpg
 

diamondbp

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females can flash. If that was a male at that size the flash would be much larger and longer. It wouldn't be so subtle. I still think it's a female
 

Neal

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That's a female.

I have seen small tails on a male, but at that size, the tail would be much longer and the supracaudal scute would be curved.
 

Slow and steady

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To add to the story, this tort is a recent acquisition, that after quarantine, was placed in my yard with my 15 y/o female and 3 y/o (hopefully) female. They have all been together about two weeks now. It has shown zero interest in the smaller tort. I have seen some following and nudging by this one with my large female, I was hoping it was just some "getting to know you" activity. I have been turning it over when I see the behavior, checking for a flash, with nothing showing. Until a few days ago, I found it fully mounting the female, making "the face":eek:. That's when I spotted the bit of flash that I posted here. Now, I have seen my large female mounting other torts, so I know there's a possibility this one is female. But my gut knows it's a male, I was just hoping for some evidence to the contrary, as I bought it as a female.
 

Slow and steady

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females can flash. If that was a male at that size the flash would be much larger and longer. It wouldn't be so subtle. I still think it's a female

I thought the same Byron, but what I'm seeing there looks anatomically like a male, albeit, much smaller.
 

Slow and steady

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That's a female.

I have seen small tails on a male, but at that size, the tail would be much longer and the supracaudal scute would be curved.

Thanks Neal, have a look at what I just responded to Byron, if you would, and maybe a second look at the "flash" pic. I agree with you wholeheartedly, I bought this tort for that exact reason.
 

Markw84

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females can flash. If that was a male at that size the flash would be much larger and longer. It wouldn't be so subtle. I still think it's a female

At 10-11" the tail would not be larger yet in most cases on a sulcata. I have been wrong far too many times on 11" sulcatas when thinking I may have a female! They can change so much from 12-15" even. I won't call a female a female until it still looks female at 16". Never been wrong at that size.

Here's one from a few years ago at just over 11" that I was sure was female. NOPE! She turned into a HE.

IMG_5347.JPG
 

Neal

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Thanks Neal, have a look at what I just responded to Byron, if you would, and maybe a second look at the "flash" pic. I agree with you wholeheartedly, I bought this tort for that exact reason.

I suppose I could back track on my original post and say I'm not 100% sure, but I have a really hard time believing that a leopard tortoise that size would be male. Admittedly, I have never seen a female flash, so I am not familiar with what to look for exactly in your last picture. I've seen males flash countless times of course, and it looks quite different than your last picture.

When trying to sex a tortoise, I usually start with the supracaudal, and the curving of that scute is what's absent in your pictures. Even in the sulcata picture posted by Mark, you can see the curving of the supracaudal. It's not just the curving that's absent, but the general shape of it is consistent with a female. It could be just the angle you've taken the pictures, but the tip of the supracaudal will extend outwards and form a sort-of triangle shape in females, which appears to be your case. I have never seen an exception to this. Tails will generally develop for males in the regular type leopards before they get to the 10 inch mark, in my experience, as they tend to be generally smaller than the female.

Post edit 5 minutes later:

My confidence is waning, but I'm still leaning more towards female. Stared at the pictures for longer and I am starting to think that I am deceived by the angle of the tortoise. Can you take a different picture showing the entire supracaudal, or tilt the tortoise the opposite way so that it's rear is in the foreground?
 
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Slow and steady

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Here you go Neal. I'm somewhat enjoying trying to turn this guy into a girl.
Do any of these help?
 

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wellington

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It looks female too me to.
But I'm thinking your going to have too wait to see if there is a full on flashing. If this one had a poor start in life like my male rescue, he will mature slow. Everyone including me thought he was a she. He never has flashed but was real interested in females when I had some and has a partial concaved plastron.
Keep us posted
 

wellington

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At 10-11" the tail would not be larger yet in most cases on a sulcata. I have been wrong far too many times on 11" sulcatas when thinking I may have a female! They can change so much from 12-15" even. I won't call a female a female until it still looks female at 16". Never been wrong at that size.

Here's one from a few years ago at just over 11" that I was sure was female. NOPE! She turned into a HE.

View attachment 256680
This is a leopard, unless I'm mistaken.
 

Neal

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Very helpful.

I'm going to stick to my guns that this is a female. That whole rear area is the textbook example of a female. All that space is needed to pass eggs.

It's always fun to play the sexing game. Maybe in 6 months or so you can update us, or if something substantial happens in the mean-time. I hope I am not wrong (as it seems you are hoping for a female), but I would like to know if I am.
 

Yvonne G

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I've seen late development of male characteristics when there's a dominant male in the mix.
 

Slow and steady

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Despite the pic of some doodads sticking out? @Yvonne said it's "definitely a penis".
@wellington, yes, a leopard. And heavily pyramided, so definitely a dryer start.

On a similar note, what is the recourse when a purchased animal turns out to be the wrong gender? I did not set any stipulations, other than that I was definitely wanted a female, not male. This animal was posted as a female.
 
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