The Effect of Coloration on the Male Mating Preferences in Poecilia reticulata

Peyton Vincze, Catie White, Kaitlin Warford, Gwen Tipling, Allison Bryant


Poecilia reticulata, also known as guppies, are sexually dimorphic and have variation in their size and coloration. Their size and coloration, as well as their immunity and the impact of light may all play a role in mating behaviors. Our hypothesis is that the male guppy will spend more time with a female guppy with higher wavelength coloration in comparison to a guppy with lower wavelength coloration. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed previously collected data from the Center for Study of Sexual Selection in Fishes Database on both the neon orange guppy and the true purple guppy. We then compared the time spent on either the neon guppy or the true purple guppy to see if the neon guppy would have a greater amount of time and be able to support our hypothesis. We ran a Mann-Whitney U statistical test and used p-values to show the comparison. The result was not significant at p < .05, p=0.38591. Therefore, our hypothesis was not supported. This differed from other studies that have shown that male guppies prefer guppies with higher wavelength colorations and could be investigated further to see if our study is an outlier or if there are other factors affecting male guppy mating preferences.

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