A Tank Divided: Vikings (true purple), Bears (true orange), and Lions (warm grey) Oh My! Which color do the guppies (Poecilia reticulata) prefer?

Aaron Stensrud, Rachel Hamrock, Dakota Whitman, Emily Sells, Calli Breaux


In previous studies, it has been shown that female guppies are attracted to brighter colors. What we did not know was whether or not the females preferred warm tones over cooler ones. For our experiment, we selected: Purple vs. Orange, Cool vs. Warm tones, (otherwise referred to as Vikings vs. Bears). We compared three colors to each other to see which one the female guppies (Poecilia reticulata) preferred to mate with. Our hypothesis is: If there is a warmer colored male guppy, then the female will interact with it more than a cooler toned one. In this study, we compared true purple and true orange against control of warm grey to see which color the female guppies are more active and more sexually involved with. In our study, the results show that the females liked purple and orange almost equally. What surprised us was that the female guppies preferred the warm grey more than the purple. This seems to imply that female guppies preferred warmer tones of the color spectrum over the cooler ones.

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