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Old 05-10-2006, 01:29 PM   #1
Question Sexing Prehensile Tailed Skinks

I am currently evaluating the purchase of a couple of PTS that have been housed together for a couple of years with no breeding observed. Before I plunk down the cash, I wanted to be as sure as I could be of the sexes of these little guys.

I note in Vosjoli's PTS book, he says that adult lizards can be sexed by everting the Hemipenis. Before I have anyone do this to the potential detriment of the subject, I wanted to get some feedback from y'all as to any experience with "popping" adult PTS's.

Anyone have any thought on this?
Old 05-17-2006, 09:56 AM   #2
Sexing Corucia



Probing Corucia zebrata (underlined) has always proven indeterminate. It accomplishes nothing but one having a very angry skink. The jaw strength of these guys is incredible and you want to avoid being bitten at all costs.

Behavior observations can be a determinate factor although variations do occur. two males will almost (but not always) fight. Males, usually to express dominance, will twitch their tail similar to that of a cat. Females can occasionally attach each other as well.

A gentleman by the name of Justin once suggested using the shedded skin of a known male in an enclosure of a new skink. if the newcomer reacted to the skin in a hostile fashion, it would denote a male. However, in practice, this has proven indeterminate as well.

Generally males have a 'blockier' head in width and females a narrower , shorter head IN APPEARANCE. actually, the head size can be similar. It appears different more when compared to body width. A biometric formula designed at the former South Florida Corucia Research Center, can give a guide to sex by measuring the width of the head and dividing by the width of the girth of the midsection. If the results are less than about .73, the Corucia may be female. If above, then a male is likely. This method also is not absolute. Of course, a gravid female will have significant girth to give one a good idea of sex.

In short, there is no clear - cut answer but to combine a variety of methods and hope for the best. If the Corucia is not malnurished, a thin build Corucia give a better chance of being a male.

Brian - LCRC
Old 05-17-2006, 10:05 PM   #3
Thanks, Brian. These two are very happy in the same enclosure, and have been for a couple of years. I will try the formula method, and see what I get. If the measurements are close to each other, then at least I can have some assurance that they are the same sex...whatever that is!

Old 05-18-2006, 03:13 PM   #4
Additional info on sexing Corucia

Hi Ernie,

Another popular idea that has come in to play lately is ultrasound for sexing Corucia. In my experience, as well as other experienced Corucia caretakers, is that ultrasound is fairly expensive & the results often clouded, literally. Corucia, if you haven't noticed, are very 'gassy' lizards in which many times an ultrasound will prove inconclusive because of this. Brian was right with the above advice but, I might also add, male Corucia tend to do a little dance when interested in mating. I've seen this many times. It's a dance in which they have a tendency to do a bobbing & weaving motion with their head. Bump the humidity up & do alot of misting .... There really is no set time in the day or evening that one can witness this. Even though Corucia are known to be crepuscular, when it comes to mating & the ritual beforehand, they don't really care what time of day it is!! In the wild, mating may commense and spike with the start of the rainy season. With Corucia kept outdoors in Southern Florida, mating occurred with more intensity and frequency during rainshowers and thunderstorms. By the way, the ratio method, if you use it, is called the C/A biometric ratio (Latin: C= Caput (head) A = amplus (width) ). You may post pictures if you wish us to try to sex them with this method. The picture needs a clear shot of the head and abdomen as seen from above. Positioned vertically really helps too with the body as straight as possible. Sexing Corucia is not easy. The C/A has worked for us about 75-80% of the time. The rest of the time, it's just observations, personality, shape of head &/ or body etc. It would, in fact, be interesting to know that if you happened to have 2 male Corucia living together harmoniously, whether this occurs because lacking a female would make them non-territorial. Good luck to you & I hope you can try to post pics.

Sherri & Brian
Old 05-18-2006, 05:41 PM   #5
Thanks again. I will work on getting pix for this purpose.

Another bit of information on these two...they were long term at a local herp shop together, and when an older C. zebrata was put in with them in an attempt to get something going, the older one tried to rough up the other two. So, whether they were all males, or all females, or just cranky...who knows?!?

I will get pix when I can...

Old 06-20-2006, 10:59 AM   #6
Hello All- I decided to put some more pictures up for evaluation. This is my 2nd baby PTS- about 3months old. I think female, but what do you all think? Also, Sherri, I noticed that you referred to one of my other pics by a sub-species name. I didn't know we were doing that now, maybe you could start another thread about that, too if your not too busy. Geez its good to be back, I didn't realize I missed this so much!

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Old 06-20-2006, 11:03 AM   #7
Here is my other (not sick) twin. Better shots for sexing, any ideas? I don't have any about this one.

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Old 06-20-2006, 11:59 AM   #8
Sherri - LCRC
Picture # 1- probably a female; very cute

Picture # 2- also a probable female; she is a beauty!

Pictures 3 & 4- 90% sure male; 95% sure alfredschmidti; Congratulations!

Sorry that I switched subjects on you like that in the last post. I just got so excited when I saw the twins & whether you knew what you may have. Alfreds are pretty rare. Out of my 57 Corucia, 8 are alfredschmidti. I won't go into anymore of that until we start a new thread.
Old 06-20-2006, 12:47 PM   #9
So it looks like the twins are both male, that may well be part of the problem. Picture #1+2 were the same skink, btw, the different lighting changed her coloring dramatically. So now I have too many males! Looks like I'm back in the market for a sale or trade I can't wait to read about the alfredschmidti, eventhough I have no idea what that means.

Old 06-20-2006, 01:19 PM   #10
Sherri - LCRC
I have a shortage of males, LOL! Maybe we can talk about this..... On alfredschmidti, Out of the 8 (with baby included), I only have one male! He's been very busy lately... Actually, I only paired him with 3 other females & I hate that ratio. My favorite is a 1:2 but as you'll find out, CZA's are extremely difficult to come by. I do have 3 single females (hint, hint!). Maybe we can work out a trade because, all joking aside, they need to be in a breeding situation. Keeping the line pure is preferable too for obvious reasons.

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