Sexing Winston the Chinese Pond Turtle

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In summary, the turtle is a Chinese pond turtle of unknown provenance. It can be difficult to sex them superficially, but can be done with a bit of sleuthing. If the turtle is carrying eggs, ultrasound can be used to determine the sex and whether or not the turtle is pregnant.
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DaveC426913
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It's not easy. Except when it's easy.
I inherited a turtle of unknown provenance a few years back via my son's deceased gf.
Its name is Winston and - with a little bit of sleuthing - I have determined it is a Chinese Pond Turtle AKA Reeve's Turtle.

1675627394349.png

(Not my pic - taken from interwebz)

It was brought to us being assumed by default to be male. I did a bunch more sleuthing and discovered it can be difficult to sex some breeds of turtles. Usual indicators are:
- tail: females have short skinny tails; males have long fat tails
- cloaca: females have their cloaca positioned a little forward of the tail; males have their right at the base of the tail
- plastron: females have flat or convex plastron; males have concave plastron
- size: females are slightly larger than males
Unfortunately, these traits are generally relative - a sample size of one does little good in helping to sex.

Nonetheless, I initially concluded that Winston was female, and that stick for about a year. And then I revisited the criteria and concluded that Winston was male.

Well, I've finally found a definitive test - in no small part due to Winston's own efforts:Count eggs. If there are more than zero, it's a female!

eggs.jpg
 
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I used to keep turtles when I was a kid and read up a lot on them.
Its not easy to sex them superficially. Except red ear sliders where one sex has much longer front claws.

I don't think its easy to get them to breed.
I got some box turtles to breed when I was a kid and they (stupidly in my mind at the time) walked all over them and they ended up looking like yours.
Afterwards I read that you should provide them a place to bury the eggs, which would keep them safer.

Unfortunately, its not obvious when the turtle is carrying eggs, so, you would have to have a place for them setup all the time (depending on the seasonality of their breeding.

If you have access to an ultrasound machine, you might be able to both tell sex and know when one is pregnant (maybe a veterinarian?).

I know several zoo and non-normal pet vets (farm and research animals).
Call your local zoo. (These people would probably enjoy talking with you).
They may know other methods that might be reasonable to use at home.
Or vet journals, if you can get to them.
 
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