Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post your pictures and any questions here of European tortoises e.g. Ibera Spur Thigh, Ibera Graeca, Marginated, Hermanns, Kleinmanni and we include the Horsfield tortoise. Also, do add pictures of Mediterranean tortoises you have seen in the wild.
Post Reply
Hollyc094
Posts: 3
Joined: 14 Nov 2020, 18:11

Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by Hollyc094 » 14 Nov 2020, 18:22

Hi would really appreciate everyone’s thoughts on my spur thighed tortoise. We thought she was female. But now not sure. She shows male behaviour towards my other female spur thighed (confirmed female by vet) and the tail is longer/ always sits to the side compared to my female who has a short tail. She has also shown the sex organ many times but as we know females show sometimes too we are not sure. She is 8 years old. Her shell is slightly hinged and slightly concaved. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
Attachments
2EFC1093-1E48-4EB9-A6AF-FD38032AAF0E.jpeg
81F95AD5-40CD-4E29-8864-890CAA0EAE66.jpeg
EDAE50C7-610D-4DC1-A988-BEA1A5ACE3EB.jpeg

User avatar
lin
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by lin » 14 Nov 2020, 18:37

I would say female, Holly.
Same sex will often display strength and dominance towards each other and this is what you are seeing here.
She is a beauty though.

Lin

Hollyc094
Posts: 3
Joined: 14 Nov 2020, 18:11

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by Hollyc094 » 14 Nov 2020, 18:53

Thank you for your reply Lin. This is what we thought but we keep questioning it as they get bigger. On another forum people are saying male. It’s so confusing! I had to separate them about 3years ago because she’s at the other one all the time!

Yossarian
Posts: 2
Joined: 18 Nov 2020, 13:27

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by Yossarian » 18 Nov 2020, 13:30

This Tortoise is 100% male. The plastron is concave and more importantly the last photo posted shows the Torts penis.

User avatar
lin
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by lin » 18 Nov 2020, 22:49

Hi Yossarian.

I must admit I did think possible male, but the plastron is hinged and when I took that into concideration as well as the 'penis' being extreemly slim and without the obvious shape that we expect with a male I have gone for saying its a female.
I am happy to be proved wrong though and thanks for bringing this up. Have you got any photos of the female parts I can compare.

Lin


Yossarian wrote:
> This Tortoise is 100% male. The plastron is concave and more importantly
> the last photo posted shows the Torts penis.

Yossarian
Posts: 2
Joined: 18 Nov 2020, 13:27

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by Yossarian » 19 Nov 2020, 11:11

Hi Again Yossarian, and Holly

I have to say that I thank you Yossarian, for bringing to our attention the gender of Holly's tortoise. After much research you are absolutely correct in saying it is in fact 100% male ;)

Lin


Hi Lin,

That is not a hinge, though I can see how it looks that way, that is just the way male plastrons look sometimes, that margin between those scutes sits in the concave and never contacts the ground so it does not get worn down much, and for whatever reason the margins on those rear scutes always seems to be raised and a bit rough on the males I have handled. I have seen more experienced owners than I suggest this might have something to do with the plastron being a bit dry, but that is all the margin you are identifying as a "hinge" is. My male greeks plastron looks the same. Also, that is very distinctively a male penis, it is exactly the shape it should appear, it is simply not fully engorged as it is probably retracting since the tort was picked up.

Females so rarely flash their genitals that most owners will never see them. Males on the other hand, every owner of a male will see the things penis regularly. I know tort owners that have raised dozens of torts and never seen a females genitalia.

Nevertheless, I have no doubt, I own a male greek tort and I know exactly what a male penis looks like and that is it. I have attached the only photo I have ever seen of a females genitalia, though I have never seen it in person.


lin wrote:
> Hi Yossarian.
>
> I must admit I did think possible male, but the plastron is hinged and when I took
> that into concideration as well as the 'penis' being extreemly slim and without the
> obvious shape that we expect with a male I have gone for saying its a female.
> I am happy to be proved wrong though and thanks for bringing this up. Have you got
> any photos of the female parts I can compare.
>
> Lin
Attachments
female gen.jpg

User avatar
Nina
Posts: 1526
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by Nina » 19 Nov 2020, 11:42

Hi Yossarian,

Many thanks for your response, and I'm grateful for the information you've provided. Lin and I have also seen the photo you attached (is it from the Tortoise Forum?). Anyway, we did discuss this at the time, as it was slightly puzzling that the tail on this tortoise isn't a bit longer, and we thought that the organ showing looked very like the one in the photo you've attached. We did think that the cloaca was sightly more slit-like and towards the tip of the tail like a male, but it wasn't definite enough to be sure. We were certainly aware that females rarely show their clitoris, but I think that Lin thought this was possibly one of those times. I'm sure she'll come on the forum soon to respond.

Nina

User avatar
lin
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by lin » 19 Nov 2020, 20:57

Hi Yossarian
Thanks for getting back to us with that photo, its really interesting to see the similarity between the two. The photo of the senders tortoise could indeed be male and not fully engorged.
The reason I said female was the tail is not nearly as long as I would have thought for a male and the poster had mentioned the hinge which I can clearly see what she meant, but as I said I will hold my hands up to this. I have seen T.G.Ibera and female spur thigh females with the hinge that slightly move when gently pressed. These was not evident on the male, and they do look exatly like the one in the photo making me again think female and the concave on the shell was also present on my female.
I also agree that its a very unusual event of a female flashing.
I will do some more fishing about and come back here if I find out anything that would put our minds at rest.
Thanks again Yossarian.

Lin




Yossarian wrote:
> Hi Lin,
>
> That is not a hinge, though I can see how it looks that way, that is just the way
> male plastrons look sometimes, that margin between those scutes sits in the concave
> and never contacts the ground so it does not get worn down much, and for whatever
> reason the margins on those rear scutes always seems to be raised and a bit rough on
> the males I have handled. I have seen more experienced owners than I suggest this
> might have something to do with the plastron being a bit dry, but that is all the
> margin you are identifying as a "hinge" is. My male greeks plastron looks
> the same. Also, that is very distinctively a male penis, it is exactly the shape it
> should appear, it is simply not fully engorged as it is probably retracting since the
> tort was picked up.
>
> Females so rarely flash their genitals that most owners will never see them. Males
> on the other hand, every owner of a male will see the things penis regularly. I know
> tort owners that have raised dozens of torts and never seen a females genitalia.
>
> Nevertheless, I have no doubt, I own a male greek tort and I know exactly what a male
> penis looks like and that is it. I have attached the only photo I have ever seen of
> a females genitalia, though I have never seen it in person.
>
>
> lin wrote:
> > Hi Yossarian.
> >
> > I must admit I did think possible male, but the plastron is hinged and when I
> took
> > that into concideration as well as the 'penis' being extreemly slim and without
> the
> > obvious shape that we expect with a male I have gone for saying its a female.
> > I am happy to be proved wrong though and thanks for bringing this up. Have you
> got
> > any photos of the female parts I can compare.
> >
> > Lin

User avatar
lin
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by lin » 20 Nov 2020, 16:39

Hi again Yossarian, and Holly

Thanks so much Yossarian for your opinion on the sex of Holly's tortoise. It started us on a long bout of research to try and determine if we were right in our first opinion about the tortoise being female. It turns out we were wrong, and we are happy to admit that and thank you for pointing us in the right direction.

Here is the reason we've changed our minds. After reading Yossarian's post, we spent hours researching male and female sex organs of tortoises, and in the end decided to write to Dan Sterantino, who posted that photo of the female radiated tortoise with the organ that looked male (the one that Yossarian posted in this thread). Dan is an Associate in Herpetology at the Trevor Zoo in upstate New York and Director of the C Angulata working group, so he knows his stuff.

Dan got back to us almost immediately with the following: "I’m glad you contacted me about this tortoise. As you saw from my post about the female radiated tortoise, it is easy to mistake a female for a male but in your case your tortoise is absolutely, 100% a male. There are a few indicators but the most telling is your image of his penis. That is definitely a penis and not a clitoris. Also you will notice the tail is thick and long and the anal opening is a slit running from the tip of the tail towards the body. These are all characteristics of a male. A female tail is short and stubby and the anal opening is more of a circle. You can rest assured that this tortoise is a male. No question."

So that's that then, and we're happy this issue has been raised because we've learned a lot, and thank you both.

Nina and Lin

Hollyc094
Posts: 3
Joined: 14 Nov 2020, 18:11

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by Hollyc094 » 22 Nov 2020, 00:20

Hello, I am so sorry It has taken me so long to respond to your messages. I did not receive notifications for some reason. I really appreciate the lengths you have gone to and all the research you have done!! I had posted on another forum who all agreed male, and my vet also got back to me too and has also confirmed “she” is in fact a he!
I really appreciate you messaging the original poster of the female tortoise also. So thank you for that!

Thanks again everyone. I finally have the answers I have been searching for.

Holly

User avatar
lin
Posts: 848
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Spur thigh gender/ sexing

Post by lin » 22 Nov 2020, 01:02

You are more than welcome Holly, we do our best and like to go the extra mile if we are in any doubt.
I have to thank Yossarian for bringing it up and letting me know.

Lin

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest