The Effects of Female Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) Tail Mobility on Male Mate Choice

Sarah Bodenhamer, David Barkyoumb, Stormie Beller, Abby Andrews, Shauni Windle


Reproduction is an essential part of life; for many animals, securing a mate and producing offspring is their sole purpose. Accordingly, it is crucial to understand reproduction as a whole and the processes leading up to it. Our experiment is studying whether male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) prefer a motionless female guppy model or a model in motion. To gather our data we observed the courtship behaviors of ten different male guppies in a ten gallon tank with our control and experimental model of a translucent orange color and similar size. Our prediction that males would prefer our experimental model accommodated with a hinged tail was, on average, supported. However, each trial differed. On average the number of mating strategies and time spent in the experimental zone was higher yet very similar to the number of behaviors performed in the control zone.


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