How Color and Size Affect Mate Selection of Poecilia reticulata

Derek Hooker, Kale Kiesewetter, Richard Heath, Lindsey Marsh, Bobby Bowser


Mate choice has an effect on the fitness and mating strategy of a species, and fitness contributes to natural selection and which traits are carried on to future generations. In a quest to study the sexual selection of male guppies, Poecilia reticulata, we are working with the Center for the Study of Sexual Selection in Fishes to measure the mate selection of the male guppies. Our team hypothesizes that male guppies prefer larger, sparkly blue females. We tested our hypothesis by placing two female guppy models in a tank with one live male guppy and measuring the amount of time the guppy spends in each section of the tank along with any sexual behaviors exhibited by the male guppy. Our results were found to be inconclusive due to no guarantee that the male spent more time on one side of the tank to attraction to the female model. The male guppy could have been influenced by any number of factors. The potential influences include fear of one of the models or of the outside environment and general unattraction. More studies may be done in the future to determine more on the subject of the mate selection of the male guppy.

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