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Topic: How to tell the sex of a timber rattlesnake?

Can someone tell me how to tell sex on a timber rattler.

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Re: How to tell the sex of a timber rattlesnake?

Probing is the easiest way, but make sure you have the animal secured in a tube first- its best to have 1 person hold the tube and animal and have a second do the probing.  With practice you might be able to see a difference in tail length between males and females (males slightly longer), but its not nearly as pronounced in timbers as it is in other species.

You can get sexing probes from midwest tongs for about 50 bucks a set.  Most herpetoculture books (corn snake manual, etc.) give good explanations of how probing is accomplished but its best to practice on DORs a few times because its easy to damage females unintentionally.  Lube helps, but is not necessary.

Van

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Re: How to tell the sex of a timber rattlesnake?

As far as eye-balling...and I know that its not gonna be 100% accurate...what are things to look for?
(i think i know the answer...but entertain me, for the benefit of us non scientific types...)

Government is not the solution Government is the PROBLEM...Ronald Reagan

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Re: How to tell the sex of a timber rattlesnake?

Aside from tail length?  Not much, really.  Males usually grow larger than females, but all that tells you is that a really big timber is more likely male than female.  A juvenile, small, or mid-sized animal could be either.  I wouldn't trust any eye-balling measure for timbers, personally.  There's no obvious difference in pattern, rattle dimensions, colors, etc.

You don't have to be a scientist to probe- its really easy/safe to do if you have the proper tools and are gentle.  A probe in a female will only go about 1-3 (at most) subcaudal scales down the tail before you hit the musk gland.  A probe in a male will go 10-15+ subcaudals down the length of the hemipene.  I usually probe both penes just to be sure (sometimes you get hermaphrodites, lol).

Van