Orange Power: The Effect of an Orange Lab Environment on Sexual Selection of Guppies

Rachel Williams, Jamye Ruzicka, Lynsey Stoneking, Kelsie Shanks, Kelsey Deal


Guppies are commonly used to study mating behaviors of fish. Those who research guppy behavior are told to wear neutral colors so that they do not attract or repel the fish but there is little research that supports this instruction. We are interested in seeing if environment color actually affects the mating behavior of the guppies. To study this, we decided to wear orange shirts in attempts to create an orange lab environment and used an orange model.  We hypothesized that the orange environment will attract the fish, causing less mating behaviors to be exhibited towards the model because past studies have shown that fish are attracted to bright colors such as orange. After completing 15 trials and using statistical analysis we found that there is no significant change in mating behaviors between a neutral lab environment and an orange lab environment. While the statistics did not show a significant difference, the displayed number of mating behaviors suggested that the orange fish in the orange environment was the most attractive. Futures studies should increase the sample size to create more reliable results and should also create an all-around colored environment.

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