Mr. Brightside: The Effect of Neon-Colored Female Models on Male Guppy Sexual Selection

Caden Rhine, Carson Rainbolt, Savannah Schlegal, Zoe Siebert, James Erdmann


Guppies are small fish that are useful in research on sexual selection due to the extensive information known about their mating behaviors. Our research was focused specifically on male mating behaviors to determine the sexual preference of neon colors in the male guppy. We hypothesized that the male guppies will be more attracted to and spend more time around the 3D neon-colored female guppy models because the bright colors stand out against an otherwise dull aquarium. To test this hypothesis, we examined previous experiment data in which a male guppy was presented with a warm-gray female guppy model and a neon-colored female guppy model and the male guppy’s behavior was observed. The results indicate that the neon-colored female models were more attractive to the male guppy than the control. Research on these guppies are important because sexual selection can lower the genetic pool of the fish, due to the lower rate of breeding with the gray-colored females.

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