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Behavioral Sexing!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:40 pm
by RowlandsReptiles
Hey guys, I'm new to the forums, and pretty new to Blue Tongue Skinks as well.

I currently have 0.0.1 Irian Jaya Blue Tongue skinks, and, wanted some advice.

I've had her/him about a month, and, 2 weeks, and it just ate for the first time Yesterday, after moving it into a new cage.

I have a Temperature gradient of 100F on the hot end, 85 in the middle, and about 75 on the cool end.

More time then not I see her/him out on the hot end digging around in the cage. I have a 7 inch layer of aspen bedding, but have been told to switch it onto reptile carpet.

My main question here are what are signs of male vs. female?

Re: Behavioral Sexing!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:55 pm
by WanderingChai
Everything sounds great except:
DO NOT use reptile carpet! It catches little toes, and BTS really like to burrow. Who told you that? Unless it was a certified reptile vet, I strongly recommend against that advice.
Also, you can reduce the aspen to 2-3 inches, that way they can still burrow a bit, but not 24/7.

As far as I know, there are not many ways to sex behaviorally. If you search some older posts, you should find some great discussions on Sperm Plugs, which are the only way(besides breeding) to know if you have a male. If you don't see sperm plugs, it's kinda 50/50. Good luck! :lol:
Some users on here are good at visual sexing, if you want to post some pictures from all different angles, we could try to guess.

Re: Behavioral Sexing!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:37 pm
by Jeff
I would say that it is nott really possible to sex a skink based on its behavior when it is isolated from other skinks. With that being said, it may be slightly more likely for a male to act as though he wants to escape his enclosure during the breeding season if he has been cycled for breeding.

I know that at least two of the most experienced bts keepers in the world keep their skinks on carpet. There may be certain minor issues with it just like there is with every substrate, but I consider it one viable option due to the success experienced people have had with it over the years. I keep some of my skinks on carpet a certain times of the year too. During the breeding season, my males are kept on carpet because it is a great thing for them to breed on when the females are introduced. A couple weeks before my females give birth, I put them on carpet because it is a really good thing for the babies to be born on. There are usually multiple ways to meet each need of your skink.

Re: Behavioral Sexing!

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:55 pm
by Richard.C
ouch jeff,what bout carpet burns,lol

theres nothing wrong with carpet,some folk have had issues with certain types affecting males hemipenes,when they are in the mood,i never have had such issues,and like to use it to,aspen is also good,allowing them to burrow into it and hine only benifits the animal,especially a new one

Re: Behavioral Sexing!

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:27 pm
by Spindown
if you are looking at an isolated skink, like yours, this will sound gross but try and catch him taking a dump. my northern confirmed he was a male by everting his hemipenes. IT. was. obvious. X_X
Also, like with my northern male, he has some pronounced hemi-penal bulges in his tail. Some have this, others are much smaller and not visually identifiable.

a few main reason why some folks recommend away from carpet is that it is hard to keep clean and free of parasites and waste, and you have to constantly switch it out. It is non absorbent, and for certain species, it can catch on toes. However, there are different kinds of carpet, some that do not have the loops and so dont catch toes. Its not an OMG how awful substrate, its just more work, and its better to have the right kind.

Re: Behavioral Sexing!

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:11 am
by Richard.C
thats actually a benefit of using carpet,easy to see when its dirty,you have spare carpets to swap over when ones dirty,then u clean dirty one,should be right to go by the time replaced one is dirty.

if they can mess a carpet so easily,they easily equally mess other substrates to,other substrates just hide the fact easier,personally i see that a benefit of carpet,makes you more inclined toclean enclosure on a more regular basis,which is of much more benefit to the animals living on it,pulling out carpetis the easiest substrate to clean,much quicker than sand,pellets,aspen ect ect,it even doesnt get messedup as much as newspaper

its one of the least work substrates you can use,and also one of the most hygenic

Re: Behavioral Sexing!

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:30 am
by hurricanejen
My biggest issue with carpet is that it does not always get cleaned as often as it should. With a particle type bedding, you can easily and quickly spot clean, but carpets require the entire piece being removed and thoroughly washed to ensure you've gotten all traces of feces off. While complete sterilization isn't necessary, it is much easier to maintain a higher level of cleanliness with an actual substrate, such as aspen shavings.

Carpet does have its uses, as Jeff pointed out, but for long term maintenance and ease of care I generally recommend actual bedding. :)

As others have mentioned, it is extremely difficult to behaviorally sex a lone skink. Looking for hemipenes being everted while pooping is one way, as are sperm plugs, but other that that for an irian jaya by itself I don't have much else to contribute.

Good luck!


Re: Behavioral Sexing!

Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:10 am
by Richard.C
jen people get lazy with all substrates,not just carpets,doesnt get much easisr then pulling carpet out,replacing with a clean one and washing dirty one in readyness for next clean out,if there going to be lazy with carpet,imagine them with other substrates