Do Male Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) Choose Mates Based on Where They Lie on the Color Spectrum?

Dominique Young, Cody Wallace, Elora Wymore, Tyler Ryan


Guppies (Poecilia Reticulata) have long been valuable research animals. Previous research has shown that visual aspects plays a role in mate choice, and has suggested that differences in color specifically has an effect on mate choice. This investigation set out to study what portion of the color spectrum male guppies were attracted to, particularly when trying to find a female guppy to mate with. By using differently colored 3D-printed models of guppies we were able to give male guppies a choice between mates and observe their behaviors and preferences between certain colors. Male guppies were isolated in individual tanks and presented with two mate options per trial. We hypothesized that male guppies would be more attracted to colors of higher wavelength (smaller frequency). Our results provided little insight into color choice. Instead our results suggest that there are several factors which influence if and when a male guppy will attempt to mate. Studying what these factors are will help improve the overall understanding of guppies and how we could use them to further study other types of marine life.

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