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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning while feeding I observed that one of my Labs has got a beard kind of black area around his mouth...

Does this mean he is a male or do female Labs can have these as well???
 

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If it just appeared suddenly, I would say it's likely a stress reaction. It doesn't indicate sex.
 

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I have seen some females show a beard when stressed, but Riceburner is correct it is usually the males that show it more often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No it did not appear suddenly, it started with slight blackish area and expanded over to what Riceburner's picture shows over a week or so...
 

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I see...I thought it appeared overnight. I would still say most likely stress. My two top males were arguing over status for about a week and both showed bearding. After things settled, the lower one kept a pencil-thin mustache, and the top dog lost any sign of a beard. Another time a female was getting bullied a bit and bearded up until I put her in an isolation tank. In fact, I thought it must be a male at the time. But when I reintroduced her she immediately spawned (and is now holding). So that's why I say it doesn't indicate sex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
IC, thanks AlphaWild...
 

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Didn't mean to imply it only happens with males. "I've" only seen it on my males. and my dominant male keeps the bearding longest. He also has beautiful jet black fins, where the sub male doesn't.
 

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I have a 80gallon with 12 adult labs, males and females. The more dominant ones are much cleaner than the rest. The last in the pecking order has a consistant 5 O'clock shadow. All the females have no beards or barring.
 
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