Will Guppies Compete or Court? : Intrasexual vs. Intersexual Interactions between Guppies

Karley Brock, Londyn Cole, Mitchell Brigden, Caleb Alexander, Meelyn Pandit


            Guppies who are seeking a mate will begin by demonstrating certain behaviors to potential mates such as: sigmoid curves, Gonopodal swings, fin fanning, and biting. Potential mates can be selected based on factors ranging from color to size. Previous studies have looked at the influence of color and size on mating behavior; because of these studies, we decided to study if the introduction of a competitor for a mate will influence mating behaviors.  We hypothesized that the live male guppy will spend more time competing with the model male guppy than courting the model female guppy because it will want to ensure access to mating with the female. For our experiment, our model guppies were introduced and the time spent on each side of the tank was recorded with a stopwatch. In the control group, the guppy had some preference for the control female; for the experimental group, the guppy spent more time on the side of the male model. There were no significant differences between the control group, control female and large female models, and the experimental group, control female model and male model. Based on our results, our hypothesis was not supported; this could be explained by the personalities of the individual guppies. Some males could be displaying more aggressive behaviors towards male invaders, while others may be more concerned with courting the female and ultimately reproducing. For future studies, it would be beneficial to look at the behaviors of the guppies prior to the study in order to observe specific personalities or mating habits.  



Guppies, sexual selection

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