Guppy Matchmaking: How Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, Ich, Affects Poecilia reticulata Mating Behaviors

Lauren Brockman, Dani Kirsch, Mark Adams, Anson Brady


The Center for the Study of Sexual Selection in Fishes (CS3F) is interested in conducting further research to better determine how male guppies select a mate (French 2018). In their natural habitat guppies select mates based on their physical appearances such as color and size because they are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females have different attributes (French 2018). In our experiment we were testing to see if a diseased appearance of a female’s body would deter males from spending time displaying courtship behaviors towards them. We tested this by using two different models, both being true orange, but one with white spots to simulateIchthyophthirius multifiliis, ich. We hypothesized that the male would spend more time, and display more mating behaviors, towards the ich-free model. The results of the testing did not support our initial hypothesis. In future studies it would be beneficial for researchers to conduct more trails for more accurate results. Also, testing other diseases and multiple males at the same time could be helpful.

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