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Husbandry and Basic Care General stuff about keeping and maintaining cornsnakes in captivity.

Guessing Askie's Gender
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:02 PM   #1
Guessing Askie's Gender

So far Askie seems to be doing well and enjoying (destroying) his enclosure. One of the things I do regret about where I got Askie from is that they didn't want to disclose the breeder, and they told me he was 'too young' to have been sexed (potential red flags, I know). But I fell in love with the little critter.

So I've been trying to figure out if Askie is a male or female. Since I'm a brand-new keeper I do not want to try popping myself, and he's still too little to have probed. I'm starting to think that Askie may be a female, since the tail looks way more like the photos of female tails from the books. Visual sexing is really not reliable, but I thought I'd look for opinions anyway.

I also attempted candeling, but the results were pretty inconclusive. I thought I saw a dark spot that wasn't a belly checker but tried again, and saw nothing. Not to mention Askie was more interested in climbing on the phone, nosing the light on it, and trying to get to my glasses for some unknown reason.

So right now I'm leaning toward female. I had wanted to get a male, but I really don't care one way or another, since I love my little noodle no matter what. Really just curious, as well as wanted to plan for potential size and future health issues.
Old 07-22-2019, 08:27 PM   #2
You can send in a shed skin to get them sexed genetically.
Old 07-22-2019, 08:59 PM   #3
I had no idea that was a thing! Very cool. Wonder if any of our labs at school will do this, might be a fun project to try. Though $15 is really hard to beat. And it means that Askie doesn't have to be subjected to poking and prodding.
Old 07-22-2019, 10:51 PM   #4
Frank Pinello
Originally Posted by gelshark View Post
You can send in a shed skin to get them sexed genetically.
Wow.....that's pretty cool stuff. Hadn't heard of this either.
Old 07-22-2019, 10:55 PM   #5
Frank Pinello
It's hard to tell at that size by looking. That one looks like it can go either way in about six months.
Try out the suggestion of sending in a shed skin to be analyzed.
Old 07-22-2019, 11:01 PM   #6
Thanks for the input, Frank! Wish I had the experience to just be able to pop him and know for sure. I had wanted to keep his first shed, but I may send the second to be analyzed (unless I can find the proper procedure and get access to PCR at school, in which case I sort of want to run it myself. Something I may do for fun anyway, if I can).
Old 07-23-2019, 07:54 PM   #7
Hey Justin, if you find a way to do it at school, let me know, I have some that I want to confirm. Popping isn't always fool proof ya know. If you want to meet up sometime I could try and pop for you, but I'm still a novice and even the pros make mistakes.
Old 07-23-2019, 08:09 PM   #8
I'll definitely let you know, Gelshark. Our lab doesn't genotype, as far as I know, so I'd have to find another lab that does and see how much trouble it would cause. It's a skill I want to pick up either way, since running PCR and genotyping is a common procedure.

I appreciate it, but if I can run the genetics it's probably better than annoying my poor snake with the procedure. He's really laid back, but I don't want to stress him too much.
Old 07-24-2019, 12:27 AM   #9
I'm going to say male.
I know some pet stores don't like to give out the information, and some breeders don't want them to.
They may not know how to pop the babies, and they are too young for probing, so I wouldn't necessarily call it a red flag, but it is good to be cautious.
Old 07-24-2019, 08:21 PM   #10
Thanks for the input, Mystic! And thanks for the reassurance on the business. I was actually really impressed with the store I got Askie from- they are a local business (well, in the metro area, but not that local to me). They seemed to be very knowledgeable and were patient with my questions. So the thought that they might not be that up and up was a little unsettling.

Unfortunately the lab I am working with doesn't do genotyping, and my boss said that the procedure and equipment is too complicated for other labs to just let people come in and attempt. Could be something I may be able to learn later when I take genetics, but not for a while.

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