Mature male ornate box turtles have red eyes while female eyes are brown or yellow. Also, male tortoises have 2 chin glands that are enlarged during mating season. A male tortoise has a larger tail than the female. One way to tell the difference between the female and male tortoise is by the TAIL. The male's vent (opening to the cloaca) is farther away from his body than the female's. Some really good tells on male vs. female is the back claws on a male are very curved (especially the middle claw) and "longish" but the females back claws are fairly short and straight. The female’s is very short. provide clues as to whether you are looking at a male or female. I think this is where I screwed up. If the straight edge shows daylight along the centre of the plastron (concave plastron) the turtle is usually a male (see below). In addition to that, the female American Box Turtle will also have the tendency to possess a higher-dome and a much more well-rounded shell than its male counterpart. Males are generally larger and have shorter, thicker tails than females. Physical characteristics. Males also have short, thick, curved hind claws, while females' hind claws are long, straight and thin. Male turtles also have longer, thicker tails than females and bear an enlarged claw on their hind feet that is used during mating. 4  The males also have greenish colored heads with red or orange leg scales and females have brown heads with yellow leg scales. Males have red eyes; females have yellowish-brown eyes. Eastern box turtle males also have another feature that makes mating easier. This makes mating easier. Female plastrons will be either flat or slightly convex. This is so he doesn’t fall off the female during the mating process. The Coahuilan Box Turtle, Terrapene coahuila, and Spotted Box Turtle, Terrapene nelsoni, inhabit Mexico. In contrast, female box turtles commonly have shorter tails with their vent residing above the edge of the carapace. So I was bringing them out food one day (just some lettuce and fruits and veggies) and put them both at the plate. There is a male turtle (lets call him bob) and a female I named bubba where I work. Male or female? The male American Box Turtle will at most times have red or orange eye irises. The males will have a concavity to their plastron...even if its slight. Male three-toed box turtles sometimes have a dark red head; Males have longer, thicker tails than females. Male and female ornate box turtles can be distinguished by the larger size of the female and the color of the irises. If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. If the straight edge across the plastron rocks from side to side (convex plastron) the turtle is usually a female (see below). 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