“Will You Accept This Rose?”: The Sexual Selection of Male Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) Based on Female Guppy Color

Madelyn Holt, Dana Mewhinney, Macy Genzer, Ainsley Mann, Yetkin Ipek


Guppies, also known as Poecilia reticulata are small freshwater fish that originated in South America. Female guppies are dull-colored compared to their male counterparts, as well as many other factors such as size make it easy to differentiate between male and female. For this experiment, we tested a control warm gray female guppy (101001) and a control neon orange guppy (120001). We predict that the male guppy will be more attracted to the neon orange guppy than the warm grey control guppy because the male will be more attracted to the longer wavelength color. Our data comes from the Cs3F database. The data was collected by placing the male guppy in a 38L tank. The control model and the experimental model were placed into the tank, then we counted how many courtship displays the male guppy presents toward each model. We found that the male was more attracted to the warm gray (101001) female guppy. This research will help add more data to an ongoing investigation of sexual selection characteristics within Poecilia reticulata.

Full Text:



Baerands, G. P., P. R. Brouwer, and H.T. Waterbolk. 1995. Ethological studies on lebistes reticulatus (Peters). I: An analysis of the male courtship pattern. Behavior 8: 249-334

Ballard, J., R. Cogbill. C. Deal. J. Locke. A. Nicholar. 2019. “Guppy… Do You Love Me? Does Color

Wavelength Affect Male Mating Behaviors” Journal of Introductory Biology Investigations,


Center for Study of Sexual Selection in Fishes. 2021. Welcome to the Fish Model Request Page, [online], Available: https://bioweb-cfs.cas.okstate.edu/info/admin/Guppies/Mainpage.cfm Accessed [11 Nov 2021].

French, D.P., (2021). Investigating biology: a laboratory resource manual. 2021 Edition

Furleigh, C., C. Garrett, M. Haynes, D. Hicks, and A. Melton. 2018. Investigation of male guppy (Poecilia reticulata) attraction to translucent red female models. Journal of

Introductory Biology Investigations. 8(4):1-3.

Houde, A.. Sex, Color, and Mate Choice in Guppies, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1515/9780691207261

Jacobitz, B., D. Nguyen. M. Pandit. 2015. “Finding Love: Do Male Guppies Prefer Warm or Cool Colored Mates?” Journal of Introductory Biology Investigations, undergradsciencejournals.okstate.edu/index.php/jibi/article/view/1712


  • There are currently no refbacks.