How to Tell the Sex of a Horny Toad

Tips

  • According to the Horned Lizard Conservation Society, it is illegal to keep horny toad lizards as a pet.

A horny toad, sometimes referred to as a horny toad lizard, bears its name from its rounded, toad-like body, even though it is actually a lizard. Sexing this species requires peering beneath its tail on the underside of its belly and identifying certain pores and bulges. You may not be able to tell the sex of the horny toad until the toad is several months old. According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, female horny toads generally reach larger sizes than males, but this detail is insufficient in truly identifying the sex of the animal.

    Inspect the underside of the lizard's belly to check for the size of the femoral pores. These pores, found along the abdomen and upper region of the leg underside, will be large on a male and tiny on a female.

    Check for the hemipenal bulge just below where the legs and abdomen connect on the belly. This bulge will be slightly puffy on a male and will not appear on a female.

    Identify the size of the vent. The vent looks like a horizontal slice across the abdomen on a male's body, while it is almost nonexistent on the female.

    Judge the overall size of the tail. A male horny toad will have a large, almost heart-shaped tail. A female has a noticeably smaller, triangular-shaped tail.

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