Male guppies sexual selection based on model female’s coloring and size

Hannah Rook, william Towler, Chaturika Henpita


Male guppies select female mates based off of a variety of characteristics that the female possess; mainly the female’s brightness and size.  The scientists set out to find if male guppies preferred bright or dull colored mates, and to observe how female size difference affected males’ selection.  Previous research has found that female guppies which are larger and brighter are more likely to be selected as mates.  To answer the question, we obtained two different female guppy models, which varied in color and/or size, and placed them in a tank with a single male guppy four different times with four different males.  To observe the males’ behavior, each female model was placed on opposite sides of the tank and the time that the male guppy was close to each model or if he displayed any courting techniques to one of the models was recorded.  From the trials, the scientists concluded that male guppies prefer larger and brighter mates; this information will allow future researchers to better understand why color and size are greatly varied in guppy populations as well as why certain guppies might reproduce more often. 

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