Well, Yes this can be a complex issue. It's happened to me many times in the early years, and as recently as 2 years ago when I had a promised "pair" of conicus sand boas dropped off for me at a show, in my absence. Of course the pair were two males, but I don't really blame the seller, as herpers often don't know how to sex their animals, and in this case of the sand boas they were bought from a petstore out of province and they were bought in good faith as a pair...
Also some animals are quite difficult to sex as neonates, and it takes experience and exposure to several specimens to check characteristics.
It also takes correct lighting and good eyes.
In all honesty people, you have to take some responsibility to sex your own animals when you buy them,or shortly after or buy only from trusted suppliers.
It's true it takes experience with a species to become accurate at determining gender, but I think more effort and observation is required by all herpers, and as part of the pre-buy research that is usually done, into husbandry requirements, herpers should try to at least ascertain how gender is determined, and what to look for.
The best time to hone your expertise and get good at gender determination is when you have a group and can compare features.
Also the first time you breed something, greater effort should be taken in close observation of all attributes, Tail length, tail geometry, spurs, preanal pores,femoral pores, bulges...etc, etc.
Trying to fix gender screw ups with a supplier, months or years after the sale is problematic. To start with genders are not always produced equally and the correct sex may not always be readily available. Breeders generally don't have replacements available, as neonate are generally moved to market fast, and not stocked all months of the year .
Also, another point in defence of automatic replacement is that snakes don't have serial numbers. A supplier might refuse to provide a swap thinking someone is pulling a fast one, and simply wants another female.
This is even more of a problem if we're talking about specimens that are het for some valuable attribute.(like albino or Pied balls)
As a breeder , how do you know the said animal really came from you, and you're not being asked to correct someone elses mistake?
Micro chipping and photographing expensive animals is starting to be done, and this is helpful, but not widespread. Also once an animal is in somebody elses collection for any length of time, a breeder wont want it back, because it would need to be quarantined.
Just a few things to think about.
I think it is in most suppliers best interest to take care to provide properly sexed animals, but accidents can happen.
Like anything else, protect yourself by educating yourself, and kick the tires before you buy.
Jen, Leos should always be sexed by preanal pores not bulges. I sex them at 2 or 3 weeks, but you need moderate light aimed from the side and a loup eyepiece. The V shape pores above the vent are slightly raised in males, even in very young leos.. The more you pratice, the younger you can sex them, and the higher accuracy you will attain.
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Last edited by Stockwell; 08-05-03 at 01:26 AM..