Looking on the Bright Side: Sexual Selection in Guppies

Spencer Smith, Austin Weiher, MaKayla Young, Sarah Bounds


Sexual selection in fish is dependent on many things; there are factors such as physiological, behavioral and evolutionary that make each fish unique. Male guppies approach the female guppies using a variety of mating techniques, but the female fish essentially choose whether or not they would like to mate with the males. To test the male fish’s preference, we used a large grey and large yellow 3D female fish model to see which one the male would attempt to mate with. Our hypothesis was that the male guppy would spend more time and practice more mating behaviors towards the bright yellow fish. To test our hypothesis, we inserted the two models into the tank at the same time and observed how the guppy acted towards each of them. We then completed this test on several different fish. After repeating these experiments many times, we came to the conclusion that our hypothesis was somewhat supported. The male guppies spent more time on the side of the control fish, but practiced more mating behaviors towards the yellow fish.

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