Male Guppy Sexual Preferences to Orange Female Guppies with or without a Gravid Spot

Makayla Carver-wilson, Mallori S Baker, Taylar Baker, Austin Burgeis, Cara Stephens


Research has shown that male guppies tend to display sexual behaviors towards females with gravid spots on their abdomens which would indicate fertility. Female guppies are sexually receptive two to three times a month leading to unwanted mating from highly sexual male guppies. Males do this because their sperm can remain viable within the ovarian lining and gonoduct for months. Research further suggests that males display sexual tendencies to brighter colored females such as, orange female guppies. To further understand male guppy sexual preferences, we completed 5 minute trials with control, orange, and orange with black gravid colored female 3D model guppies. A 3 minute resting period was provided for the male guppies after each trial. Results showed that the male guppy displayed more frequent sexual behavior towards orange female with gravid spots by: biting, fan fanning, Gonopodial swing, and sigmoid behaviors toward the female. Understanding how and why male guppies choose their mates and sexual behaviors, can allow future research to control the increase and decrease of the guppy population.

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