The effect of monochromatic vs. polychromatic coloration on mate choice for male guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

Samantha Shafer, Erin Yen, Joshua Spiers, Cody Barnes


There have been various studies testing sexual selection by color in male guppy mating preference. We furthered this study by testing for preference between monochromatic female guppy models and polychromatic female guppy models. We hypothesized that the polychromatic model would elicit more male attention than the monochromatic model. This was tested using several behavioral trials to measure the amount of interest males showed to a monochromatic grey female guppy model and a polychromatic orange and white female guppy model. We found that contrary to our hypothesis, the male guppy showed a strong preference for the monochromatic grey model. This may be due to the masculine appearance of the female model or to the immobile nature. Further studies might include testing a moving model or a model with more muted coloration.

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