Male Poecilia reticulata Mating Behavior Versus Female Poecilia reticulata Guppy Size

Kennedy Lillard, Olivia Klug, Kathryn Miller, Courtlynn King, Alejandro Marcillo


The mating behaviors for Poecilia reticulata, a tropical guppy, is commonly studied among researchers to understand the process of sexual selection in nature (French 2021). Guppies are sexually dimorphic, vary in size, and have distinct mating behaviors; this allows for easy analysis and understanding into how guppies select their mates. The aspect of mate selection the group chose to study was the effect of the female body size on a males selection. To conduct the experiment, the group received access to the previously acquired data conducted by the Center for the Study of Sexual Selection in Fishes. The group compared the time a male guppy spent on each side of a fish tank that contained a control female guppy (code 101001) and a small female guppy (code 101003), as well as a control female and a huge female guppy (code 101006). The results showed that the male guppy spent the same amount of time with both the control and the huge guppy. However, the male guppy spent more time with the control guppy than with the small guppy. Our hypothesis of the male guppy choosing a larger female guppy as a mate was proven correct. In both trials the male guppy spent the most time on the side of the tank that contained the larger female guppy.

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