There are Other Fish in the Sea: The Influence of Orange, Blue and Gray Fish Models on the Sexual Selection of Male Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

Isabella Onofrio, Kaelyn Lawson, liesl Melnick, taylor outlaw, Jonathan Albers


The Center for the Study of Sexual Selection in Fishes (Cs3F) studies male mating preferences for female mates in guppies. The Good Gene hypothesis suggests that mating behaviors rely on honest indicators and past research suggests that bright colors act as an honest indicator for guppies. Therefore, the hypothesis for this experiment proposes that guppies would select the neon orange model over other colored models. To test this, data was collected from the Cs3F database. Past experimenters found this data by placing models of different colored fish in tanks and recording the behaviors which guppies exhibited towards different colored models. While the results demonstrated a trend that the guppies prefered the ocean blue fish model in both mating behaviors and time spent, none of the relationships were statistically significant. Therefore, the results did not support the hypothesis. To explain these results, the suggestion was that color did not affect the sexual selection in guppies; instead, other factors such as UV light reflection, size, and age of the guppies could potentially affect the selection choices. Altogether, further experimentation must be done in order to draw conclusions about the male guppy preference in females and is important for understanding evolution of guppies and other fish. 

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