Male guppy mate choice: the effect of shallow and deep body shapes

David Bowman, Matthew Brooks, Baxter Bradford, Lindsey Worcester


Male guppy mate choice is based on a variety of traits and environmental factors. We believe that shallow bodies, bodies with an overall smaller dimension than the average, will be more attractive than a deep body because it makes the guppy more environmentally fit. For example, shallow bodied guppies are more agile and can avoid predators much more easily than a large bodied guppy. We set up an aquarium with two models on each side to determine which model a male guppy was more attracted to. We measured the amount of time the male guppy spent on each side of the tank and measured the amount of behavioral interactions, including sigmoid, fin spread, and gonopodial swing, it had with each model. The male guppy was found to spend the most time with the Shallow Body model, which supported our hypothesis, but the results were analyzed and determined as not statistically significant.

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