How the Lack of Pectoral Fins on 3D Models Affects Male Guppy, Poecilia reticulata, Mate Choice

Katelyn Leibhart, Danielle Lichte, Trevor Dean Long, Carmen Lauren Martinez, Nicole Brinker


Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are a common species used for studying mating preference (Frenc 2019). We used guppies in our experiment in an attempt to determine whether male guppies preferred a mate with or without pectoral fins. We hypothesized that the lack of pectoral fins would cause the male to disregard that model and instead focus on the model without the abnormality because the flaw suggests that the female is less fit for reproduction and survival. Our experiment was performed using two 3D model guppies. Both models were translucent orange but one of the models possessed pectoral fins while the other did not. We studied the behavior, such as biting, sigmoid, gonopodial swing, and fin fanning, and the time spent with the models for 5-minute intervals. After 10 trials, the results of our experiment revealed that the male guppies were more interested in the 3D model that possessed pectoral fins. Although we experienced some guppy difficulty, the results supported our hypothesis and concluded that male guppies prefer females that have pectoral fins.

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