Some like it hot, some like it cold: male Poecilia Reticulata mating preference between warm and cool colored mates

Hunter Lee McConnell, Anthony Morejon, Nathaniel Mansell, Micheal Mack, Samantha Garza


Charles Darwin first came up with the idea of sexual selection and the idea that size, colors, body structure and identifying body parts all affect mating preferences. With many studies conducted about the attraction of female guppies, Poecilia reticulata, we decided to test the attraction of male to female P.  reticulata. We hypothesized that the male guppies will pick the warmer colored fish such as orange and red over the cooler colors or the control; because cooler colors have shorter wavelengths and this makes it more difficult to distinguish in the guppy’s natural habitat of vegetation, low light sources and streambeds. In order to test our hypothesis, we looked at multiple trials with different colored 3-D printed guppies. The colors we chose included grey as our control, red, orange, purple and green. These were placed in a container containing the real guppies. After multiple trials, male guppies spent more time and displayed more mating preference to the more colorful 3-D printed fish, thus supporting our hypothesis; and confirming the importance of the female guppy color when compared to male guppy mating choice.

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