SeaHarmony: Love is Closer Than you Think-Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) Mate Choices Based on Size and Color

Marlie Adams, Rachel Hamrock, Tim Council, Leo Elsasser, Chris Cyr


Poecilia reticulata is a popular research topic in biology to research mate choice in nature due to their varying size, color, patterns, etc. In this experiment, we will be researching the question: What color and size mate do male guppies prefer to mate with? Small or large? Gray, purple or orange? In this study, our control group is the gray-colored guppies. The study was conducted using 3D printed models of female guppies, printed in different sizes and colors. Our data was collected from past studies using the same procedures researching guppies’ mate choices to make our observations and to collect our final results. We predict that during these observations, the large, orange guppies will be the preferred mate for the male guppies. Our research found that overall the guppies’ preferred larger models over smaller, and preferred the brighter color orange, over purple and gray. This conclusion supports other research findings in this topic and leads researchers to new ideas on how to determine parameters affecting mate choice in guppies.

Full Text:



Fitzpatrick, S., et al.. 2020. Trinidad’s guppy filled streams provide natural lab for genetic rescue research [Online], Available: Accessed [7 April 2020].

Francis, E., M. Ogle, G. Penna, K. Perkins, and J. Wormington. 2015. I’m warming up to you: Male guppies are attracted to warm colored females. Journal of Introductory Biology Investigations. 2:5,1-5.

French, D.P. 2019. Investigating Biology: A laboratory resource manual. 2019. Edition. Fountainhead Press: SouthLake Texas.

Gong, A., and R. M. Gibson. 1996. Reversal of female preference after visual exposure to a predator in the guppy. Poecilia reticulata. Animal behavior. 52: 1007-1017.

Houde, A. E. 1997. Sex, color, and mate choice in guppies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Kodric-Brown, A. 1993. Female choice of multiple male criteria in guppies-interacting effects of dominance, coloration, and courtship. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 32:415-420.


  • There are currently no refbacks.