Influences of male and female phenotypes on male mate-choice copying in the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata)

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Pusiak, Ryan




Mate-choice copying in males is a form of social learning whereby an observer male modifies his inherent mating preference after observing a demonstrator male sexually interact with a female he did not initially prefer, and copies the mate preference of the demonstrator male. Little is known about such copying behaviour in males and how the phenotypes of males and(or) females interact to influence the likelihood of mate-choice copying and the strength of the copying response. Using the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata), I investigated whether the relative sexual attractiveness of males influences the likelihood of mate-choice copying in males, and found that the highest rates of copying occurred when the demonstrator male was less sexually attractive than the observer male. Second, I tested whether the relative difference in the body size of paired females influenced the likelihood of male mate-choice copying, and did not find unequivocal evidence for such an effect.






Carleton University

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