Studying Male Guppy Mate Selection Behavior

Larra Tefertiller, Madison Taylor, Miranda Rose, Garrett Saunders, Allison Hanna


While many previous studies have investigated female guppy mating preferences, there is not much existing research into how male guppies choose their mates and what traits they prefer in a potential mate. We investigated whether a male guppy would show preference to a red 3D printed model or a green 3D printed model. It was hypothesized that mating preferences would be shown towards the red model because its shorter wavelengths of color make it more visible against the blue-green background of the guppies’ natural (and experimental) habitat. For our investigation, we exposed 10 male guppies individually to the experimental models for trials of 300 seconds and recorded the time spent in the section of the tank containing each model, as well as the mating behaviors exhibited towards each model. Our results show that male guppies are more attracted to the green than the red model guppies. The guppies possibly preferred the green model because it blends in with the natural habitat, thus making it less visible to predators and more fit.

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