Rough-scaled plated lizards exhibit some sexual dimorphism, which means that there is a subtle visible difference between males and females.
Males tend to have bright colored throats, with the color varying depending on locality. Individuals have been observed with orange, red, pink, and even blue throats, with the color bleeding into the small scales between the back and belly segments. This color is visible along the sides of a sexually mature male, but it gets brighter when he sees another male, at which point he will “fire up” and display his colors for a territorial display.
Females lack these traits. They may be lighter in body color, but this depends on locality. Some have coloring similar to males along the sides, but this will be much less colorful than with males. They also have femoral pores, but these are smaller and less noticeable.
Sexual maturity and dimorphism occurs around the time the lizard has grown close to adult size.
It may be possible to sex Sudan plated lizards before sexual maturity by counting the number of scales from where the rear leg starts to the vent (marked in light green below). Females tend to have 5 of these scales, while males tend to have 4.
Both sexes have femoral pores, as demonstrated by the photo of the female (yellow). However, mature males tend to have much more prominent pores marked by waxy secretions. Pores are not clearly visible in the male here due to a blockage that was being treated at the time the photo was taken.
Although his scales aren’t as easy to count in the picture below, this healthy individual demonstrates pores that are much more typical of a sexually mature male.