Male guppy preference for aesthetically-modified caudal fins in females

Derek Rynd, Jamie Samples, Katie Schlotthauer, Andrew Schweighardt


Visual sexual signals such as bright colors or varying aesthetic developments serve to attract males in an environment such as the ocean. By using three different guppies we effectively provided various mating options for the male guppy. Two of the models were a bright yellow color, one of which had a split caudal fin. The third model was the control grey color with a split caudal fin as well. Using these modules resulted in the male guppies preferring the brighter colored models significantly more than the control models. Our results strongly support behavioral evidence favoring one female guppy model over another; it is also in question whether adult male guppies prefer more genetically diverse mates or mates with higher fitness, or quite possibly both. The cost of preferring a brightly colored mate could potentially reinforce the guppy’s preference of more flamboyantly colored females with or without caudal fin modifications.


guppy, mate preference, color variation, aesthetic variation, behavior

Full Text:



Gong, A. 1997. The Effects of Predator Exposure on the Female Choice of Guppies (Peocilia reticulata) from a high-predation population. Behavior. 134(5): 373-389.

Dosen, L.D., and R. Montgomerie. 2004. Female Size Influences Mate Preferences of Male Guppies. Ethology. 110: 245-255.

Fisher, E.K., Schwartz, A.J., Hoke, K.L., Sores, D. 2014. Social Context Modulates Predator Strategy In Guppies. Ethology. 364-371.

Hughes, K.A., Houde, A.E., Price, A.C., and Rodd, H. 2013. Mating Advantages for rare males in wild guppy populations. Ethology.


  • There are currently no refbacks.