Male mate choice in response to female blood spots in Poecilia reticula

Tyler Johnson, Mandy Lawson, Shelbi LaMascus, Caitlynn Land, Tyler Ryan


Sexual selection is an important part of natural selection that alters the genetic makeup of a population. As male mate choice is less studied than female mate choice, we studied a male guppy’s (Poecilia reticula) preference for various 3D printed female guppy models, including one with blood spots to mimic hemorrhagic septicemia virus. We displayed two models per trial to a lone male guppy in a fish tank, measuring the time the guppy spent on each side of the tank and the mating behaviors it displayed. The guppy spent slightly more time near the control model, and engaged in a lot of biting toward it. However, the other mating behaviors did not indicate a significant preference toward either model. Future research into mate choice could examine how other injuries might affect mate choice, in both males and females.

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