How Male Guppy’s Preferences in Sexual Selection are influenced by a “True” vs. “Translucent” Orange Colored Female

Danielle Gerritzen, Abby Gooden, Lily Grant, Haley Hall, Tim Anderson


Understanding how the appearance of a potential mate affects the sexual selection process is important because it provides evidence as to why organisms choose to reproduce with a particular mate. Studying male guppy (Poecilia reticulata) mating preferences regarding appearance provides a basis for how it is a key factor in the sexual selection process of other species. In our experiment, we decided to test how manipulating the outer appearance (true orange vs. translucent orange) of two different female guppies would lead the male to choose one or the other based off his mating preferences. We hypothesized that the male guppy would be more attracted to the female (translucent orange) that resembled characteristics more closely to that of an actual guppy because it displayed a similar appearance to scales. The results we found were consistent with our original hypothesis, in that, the male guppy interacted more with the translucent orange female; she more closely resembled the appearance to that of an actual guppy. These results were useful because they show how sexual selection factors into a species’ fitness, which leads the evolution.

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