There’s Always a Bigger Fish in the Sea: How size of the Female affects the Mate choices of a Male Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)

Brittney Jackson, Abbigale Teaford, Brylan Wandel


Sexual selection exists among most sexual animal species. This helps animals to determine a proper mate to either give good young, or provide protection for the young, and is often decided by physical characteristics (French 2021). This experiment focuses on a male guppy’s (Poecilia reticulata) mate choice according to the female guppy’s size. We believe when the male is presented with the option between two different sized females, the guppy will display more mating behaviors towards the larger female guppy model. We were not able to conduct this experiment for ourselves unfortunately, so we analyzed a previous experimental protocol and set up from past BIOL 1114 students. After reading about how previous students set up the aquarium for their trials, we then used the guppy models 101001, 101002, and 101003 from the Center for Study of Sexual Selection in Fishes database to find out whether or not our hypothesis was supported. We found out that the data they collected for this experiment did not support our hypothesis since the male guppy spent more time around the smallest model in the given trial. This helps us understand how the effect of size of the female contributes differently to the male guppy’s mating behaviors than we thought.

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