Bigger is better: Correlation between female guppy body depth and male attraction in Pecilia reticulata

Leah Martin, Bryana Perez, Dalton Lewis, Brooke Leonard, kelly easterling


              Guppy mating choice has been widely studied by the Center for Study of Sexual Selection in Fishes (CS3F). Research has shown that male guppies seem to prefer larger female guppies as mates, and the presence of a gravid spot on female guppies has also shown to increase male attraction. As of yet, no preference has been discovered as to what male guppies find more attractive: the presence of the gravid spot on female guppies, or the larger body size that seems to accompany those female guppies with gravid spots. To examine which characteristic is more appealing to the male guppy, we studied body depth with the hypothesis that male guppies would prefer a greater body depth in female guppies because it may suggest fertility. We collaborated with another group to determine how the presence of a gravid spot affected mating behaviors of male guppies (8476 in preparation ). We found that the male guppy was more attracted to our experimental, deeper-bodied model than the control model.  

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