Do Your Eyes Adore Mine? The correlational effect of “Popeye Disease” on male Poecilia reticulata mate selection

Elizabeth Jackson, Aubree Hollowell, Kaira Casto, Rylee Floyd, Jonathan Albers


The research surrounding the mating preferences of the male guppy is less robust than that of the female guppy. In attempt to add to the current research, we placed a male Poecilia reticulata in a controlled environment with the option of two competing female models. One of the females was of normal size and shape while the other, also of normal size and shape, had the physical manifestation of Popeye Disease. We did this to determine if physical traits such as extremely large eyes play a role in the sexual selection of the male. Upon completion of the ten trials on ten male guppies, the results indicate that the time the male spent with the popeyed female as well as behaviors expressed did not show statistical significance at a p value of .09296 and .05238 respectively. This would suggest that the eye size either did not deter but could have possibly could have made a positive impact in the choice of the male. This study is important because it highlights male preference in sexual selection and aids in increasing the body of research around the possible driving forces around male mate selection.

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