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Mountain Horned Dragon Gender Identification

Before you buy that Wild Caught reptile, read this!

The most frequent question that arises with any animal is “How do I tell if it’s a male or a female?”

I have taken pictures of three of my Mountain Horned Dragons and have also drawn a simple diagram to help MHD owners to determine the gender of their dragon.

The diagram:

The Photos:

On the left is my male, Darrell; Center is a proven breeder and currently gravid female, Dixie; and on the right is a sub-adult female, Daphne, that I have had for 6 months.

As the pictures show, the base of Darrell’s tail is quite bulbous. Although both of the females pictured also have some bulge, the fuller part of Darrell’s tail is considerably longer. This is the hemipenal bulge.

From above, you can see that Darrell’s tail is broad for a good distance before it narrows and starts tapering down to the tip. In the females, on the other hand, the tail sharply tapers from the base. Even in the sub-adult this is very noticeable.

The second reason I have included shots of both a sub-adult and an established female is that in the far right picture of Daphne you can see that her hips protrude. I can’t say if this is normal in a captive bred MHD, but it appears to be the norm in the WC that most of us find in the pet stores. As the animal becomes established and its nutritional needs are met, the animal fills out and the hips become less noticable.


Many viewers are still confused even after viewing the pictures of my three older animals. So, I have taken additional photos, not the best quality, but I think they illustrate what I am trying to show. I have not added any text to this set of photos, but have instead placed the text on the photos themselves.






Last updated November 26, 2005

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