How To Sex An Axolotl [Breeding Axolotls Male and Female]

Beneath the serene water of two mystical lakes in Mexico resides Axolotls, the aquatic creatures that have attracted scientists and dreamers alike. These captivating amphibians are popular for their ethereal appearance and mesmerizing regenerative abilities.

They have always been a topic of curiosity and continue to bewitch many minds. Amongst the many researchers concerning Axolotls is also the process of ‘Sex Determination.’ This puzzle is waiting to be solved, and here we have much to discuss. 

Axolotls, for many, are fantasies, and so is every single piece of information related to them. A lot of new Axolotl keepers often come up with questions like “Is my Axolotl Male, or What is the gender of my Axolotls” and so on. Well, until Axolotl reaches their age of sexual maturity, it is nearly impossible to determine their sex. Until then, it is basically a game of 50:50 (Male: Female).

Besides that, another topic of confusion for many new Axolotl keepers is Axolotl’s breeding process. So with determining the sex of Axolotls, the secrets of axolotl breeding as well will unfold in this article. Join us as we explore deeper into these topics.

How to Determine the Sex of an Axolotl?

Determining the sex of an Axolotl is a pretty straightforward process; however, only when the creature has reached its sexual maturity. Before an Axolotl reaches the age of sexual maturity, it is nearly impossible to determine whether it is a male or female

Typically, Axolols reach their sexual maturity at the age of 12 to 18 months. However, the age of sexual maturity in Axolotls can be influenced by factors like genetics, diet, health, and environmental conditions.

Also, Axolotls are neotenic creatures; thus, they can retain their juvenile features even as adults. Axolotls can choose to remain in their larval form throughout their lives. However, regardless of this, they can undergo reproductive development and involve in breeding. 

4 Methods to Determine Axolotls’ Sex

  • Examine Axolotls’ Cloaca Area: The Cloaca is a vent located right behind their back legs on the underside of an axolotl. The female Cloaca is far and against the silhouette of the body. Due to its size, it isn’t very noticeable. Whereas the male Cloaca is swollen and round, which is longer and more noticeable.
  • Examine Axololt’s Tail Shape: Female Axolotls have slender and more evenly shaped tails. At the same time, Male Axoltols have thicker and more muscular tails.
  • Examine Axolotl’s Behavior: During their breeding season, Female Axolotls have an acceptance of Male advancement. They typically flatten their body posture to invite males for breeding. Whereas Male Axolotls, during breeding, become territorial and aggressive. 
  • Examine Axololt’s Nuptial Dots: One of the popular ways to find out your Axolotl’s sex is by examining their Nuptial Dots. Male Axolotls develop small raised spots around the vent area or on their Cloaca, ideally during breeding. In contrast, this identification isn’t found in females.

Determining the sex of Axolotls can be challenging, especially if you are doing it for the first time. It is important to wait until their sexual maturity as the feature above becomes prominent by then. However, remember that none of the above methods is 100% reliable. 

Are female axolotls bigger than males?

Yes, typically, female axolotls are larger than males. However, amongst the size of Axolotls (gender-wise), there can be exceptions and variations depending upon the individuals. 

The size difference between male axolotls and female axolotls is very significant always. Although the difference is observable in many cases, at least to determine the gender. 

The body of a Female axolotl is usually broader body and has a wider girth than that of Male Axolotls. Females are known to have a more rounded and robust appearance overall. However, the size is noticeable majorly when axolotls reach their sexual maturity since, in the juvenile stage, everyone looks similar. 

Can You Keep a Male and Female Axolotl in the Same Tank?

Yes, Keeping a male and female axolotl in the same tank is possible. Although, it demands careful consideration depending upon their compatibility, age, tank size, temperament, and the aquarium setup.

Initially, when you are planning to keep a Male and Female Axolotl in the same tank, know their compatibility. Some Axolotls may display aggressive behaviors towards each other, more profoundly during the breeding season. If the stress and aggression are there, separating the Axolotls into their individual tanks is better.

Secondly, while keeping a Male and Female Axolotl together, make sure you are focusing on the tank size. It is important to note that both the Axolotls should have ample space to swim, explore, and establish their territories. A tank size of 20 gallons per Axolotl (at least) is recommended. 

Besides that, look at the overall setup of the aquarium while keeping a pair together. Regular monitoring of water parameters is important to ensure a healthy environment for both the male and female Axolotl.

In addition, paying attention during the breeding season is very crucial. Female Axolotls especially become stressed or injured when male Axolotls get aggressive in their attempts to court her. It is when you should remove one of them and place it in a separate tank.  

Overall, you can keep a male and female axolotl together in the same tank, but only after paying attention to multiple conditions. 

How do Axolotls Breed? 5 Easy Steps

The breeding process in Axolotls is unique, and here is a general overview of the same:

  1. Firstly, during the breeding season, Male Axoltols start exhibiting their courtship behavior in order to attract females. This behavior may include small sports around their vent or Cloaca or displaying breeding tubercles. 
  2. Now, as any receptive female axolotl gets approached by a male, they will engage in cloacal dance. In this process, the male Axolotl aligns his Cloaca with the female’s Cloaca. The cloaca female is basically the opening for reproductive activities. The male will further deposit spermatophore, which will transfer into the female Cloaca for fertilization.
  3. Once the process of mating succeeds, the female Axolotl lays eggs over a suitable substrate. They release eggs, one after another carefully, and attach them on a safe surface. 
  4. Further, after laying an egg, proper incubation is important. Suitable water conditions, quality, and optional temperature are very important to promote successful development. Between 10 to 14 days, Axolotls eggs will hatch into larvae depending on the temperature and other factors.
  5. Lastly, after hatching, the larvae turn into fry. This is the stage where Axolotls still continue to have external gills and require special care. They must be kept in a separate tank with enough space to grow and swim. 

Wrapping up…

In conclusion, understanding how to sex an axolotl is crucial for successful breeding. By identifying male and female axolotls, enthusiasts can embark on the rewarding journey of breeding these fascinating amphibians.

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