I’m warming up to you: Male guppies are attracted to warm colored females.

Erin Francis, Merritt Ogle, Kelli Perkins, Jillian Wormington


Much research has been conducted on how female guppies choose their mates. Consequently, there are not nearly as many studies conducted on how male guppies choose their mates. Some studies have shown that males have a stronger preference for females with larger absolute female size (Dosen 2004), but few studies have researched the effect of female coloration in male mating preferences. We hypothesized that female guppies that reflect long wavelengths of visible light, often referred to as “warm colored” females, will have a higher success rate in attracting mates, due to the fact that warm colors are easily distinguishable against the cool colors of a streambed. In our experiment, we presented male guppies with different models of female guppies and recorded the number of times specific mating behaviors were exhibited, as well as the amount of time the male spent with each model.  Our results supported our hypothesis; male guppies were more attracted to females that reflected long wavelengths of light.

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