Guppy Edition of the Bachelor: Color Variation Affecting Sexual Behavior in the Male Guppy

James Teel, Kenneth Wolgamott, Zackary Terry, Michael Cobbs


           Poecilia Reticulata, or the “common guppy”, is a beautiful aquatic species that displays uniquely strong sexual tendencies in efforts to attract the opposing gender for reproductive purposes (Farr, 1976.) The guppies’ persistent sexual competition makes them a preferred species to study in a laboratory setting. Another significant factor to include in our observation is the color pattern each guppy presents. In our experiment, we are observing the sexual behavior of a male guppy in response to the color of plastic models of female guppies (French, 2014). We hypothesize by using different, brightly colored female guppy models we will get more social and sexual behavior in comparison to interactions to the plainly colored control model. Although our results did not fully support our hypothesis, we believe that further trials are necessary to gain more understanding of guppy courtship and behaviors.                        

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