Guppy Mate Choice Based on Color Wavelengths

Lexi Rodriguez, Rylie Merritt, Lindsey Purcell, Caleb Melton, Michael Cobbs


The mating behavior of guppies has been widely studied due to the variety of behaviors and visual cues used by the guppies to choose a mate. Other studies have tested the effect of color on mate choice. We have decided to compare our studies to other studies about the different cone cell types in a guppy’s eye that allow for the specific wavelengths to be distinguished better than others. Due to the results from other studies, we hypothesized that the male guppies would be more attracted to the females of longer wavelength colors because their eyes distinguish these wavelengths better. In our experiment we expose the male guppies to seven different colors of 3D printed fish as well as a control of warm grey at the same time and measure the amount of time spent near each other as well as how many courting behaviors the male presents towards each color. Our results suggested an observable trend in preference towards the color orange, but this trend was not followed by other colors with longer wavelengths. This research will help in the understanding of guppy mating behaviors by providing a further understanding of their visual capabilities which then can be applied to other closely related species of fish whose mating behaviors are less known. 

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