How Does Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) Body Color Affect Mating Behaviors?

Kaylee Smith, Laney Sims, Jacob Stewart, Savana Winkler, Rachael Brodsky


When guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are mating, there are many different characteristics that can affect their mating behaviors. Some of these characteristics include the size of the guppy, shape of the guppy, and the color of the guppy. We hypothesized that if the female was brightly colored, then the male would spend significantly more time on that specific side of the tank. Following the methods provided by previous experiments, we observed the male guppy spent more time on the side of the brightly colored 3D printed female guppy rather than on the side of our control which was the dull gray colored fake guppy. Using the Mann-Whitney U test we were able to determine the significance or lack of significance in time spent with the experimental (121001) and control (101001) groups. The results we found varied between the red and green colored guppies. Although both red and green guppies attracted the male: time spent with the green guppies was significant but the red guppies were insignificant. Overall, color variation can show significance in attributes chosen by a mate, but certain colors yield different outcomes.

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