Sexing the Painted Agama – October 2012

The Reptile Times

Painted Agamas

By Jennifer Greene

Sexing Painted Agamas

Painted Agamas, or Laudakia stellio, are a species of agamid lizard that are beginning to gain popularity among reptile keepers.  With flashy colors being the norm for this species, and a smaller adult size than the average bearded dragon, they are an excellent choice to consider as a pet lizard species.  They are especially well suited for keepers who would like a smaller, easier to feed option to keep as a pet lizard – Painted Agamas require only insects in their diet, none of the vegetable matter than Bearded Dragons require.

Painted Agamas

For the keepers looking to try their hand at captive breeding them, an important aspect of selecting your agamas is knowing how to sex them.  At first glance, it can sometimes be a little difficult to sex them.  Adult males can develop bright, neon colored patches on their heads above their eyes, and mature, breeding adult males are often somewhat brighter than females or younger males.  However, when selecting from a younger group of animals, it is hard to be sure if the brightly colored animal in your hand is a young male or female.

Fortunately, sexing subadult to adult sized Painted Agamas is actually very easy when you know what to look for.  As with most other species of agamid lizards, males develop noticeable pores once they begin to approach adult size.  The pores are not in the common location of the bottom of the hind legs; rather, they are along the belly of the animal.  Simply put, in order to accurately sex your Painted Agama, simply flip it over (gently!) and peek at its stomach.  A male will have a line of pores that resembles the way a closed zipper appears, while a female will have a smooth, unmarked stomach.

That’s all there is to it!  With this knowledge, you should be able to accurately sex any Painted Agamas you come across, and establish a breeding pair or group with little difficulty.

Check out one of our YouTube Painted Agama Videos too. Click Here for the video!