Courting Behaviors of Male Poecilia reticulata Towards Female Models with Spinal Deformity

Kiley Cox, Morgan Boyette, Sydney Bryant, Jordan Brooks, Sierra Williams


Females guppies tend to attract to fit males that are able to hand down desirable genes to their offspring and it can be inferred that it is the same for males as well. Aida is a spinal deformation found in guppies that can make them seem as unfit or not desirable for reproduction and may decrease the chance of a male wanting to court them. In our experiment we tested if male guppies would show more courting actions to a female model with Aida or to a control female model with no deformations. We hypothesized that the male would show more courting actions to the control female due to her seeming more fit and a better choice for reproduction.  We found that the males did show more interest in the control female by their actions, but spent more time with the deformed female model on its side of the tank. This could have been because the males were interested in the model with the deformity to figure out what it was rather than to court it.

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