The Positive Effect of Female Guppy(Poecilia reticulata) Size on Male Mate Selection

Allyson Johnson, Cardin Hart, Katlyn Eaton, Xiao Feng


 Sexual selection is one of the major behaviors that researchers have studied in guppies in order to investigate the ecological, evolutionary and behavioral factors that impact mate selection. The hypothesis was how the size of the female guppy impacted the mate choice of the male, as previous studies indicated that male guppies are more attracted to larger females, possible because they reflect more light. In order to test this, we set up a fish tank with a live male guppy inside and drew lines on the side of the tank to segment it into thirds. Various sized 3D models of female guppies were inserted into the tank and male sexual behaviors were monitored for five minutes.  Data collected indicated that as the size of the female guppy increased so did the time spent with that model and the number of sexual behaviors displayed toward that model. In conclusion, the data collected clearly supports the hypothesis made that male guppy are attracted to and display more sexual behaviors towards a larger female guppy.

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