How the Depth of 3D Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) Models Affect the Courtship Behavior in Male Guppies

Shelby Orth, Kamry Lafayette, xavier kelley, Samuel Carlton Little, Eric Bates


Studies concerning how the color and size of a guppy affects courtship behaviors have been done many times, but there are very few studying the effect of depth on courtship behaviors. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are used to study this since they are highly adaptable and naturally come in many different colors and sizes. We hypothesize that male guppies will behave differently around females at different depths. Our prediction is that the male guppies will prefer the female guppy models that are at a lower depth. Naïve male guppies were utilized and placed into 38 L tanks primed with 250mL of water from the female holding tank around the lab room. For each individual trial the male guppy was observed as two people watched how it interacted with the two 3D models on the presentation apparatus. The results showed that the male guppy spent more time with the model that was at a lower depth then with the model closer to the surface. This supports our hypothesis and shows that the male preferred the model kept at a lower depth. In the future different sizes and colors of models as well as a different amount of models could be utilized.

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