Sexing

Rough-scaled plated lizards exhibit some sexual dimorphism, which means that there is a 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. Females tend to be slightly larger than males.

Sexual maturity and dimorphism occurs around the time the lizard has grown close to adult size.

Male contributed by Roark Way

One of the most reliable methods of sexing Sudan plated lizards is by counting the number of scales from where the rear leg starts to the vent (marked in light green below). Females have 5 of these scales. Males also have 2 lighter-colored, slightly raised sets of scales (darker green) after the vent.

Both sexes have femoral pores, as demonstrated by the photo of the female (yellow). Pores are not clearly visible in the male here due to a blockage that is being treated.

Male contributed by Roark Way

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.

Contributed by Jeff Cochran

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