The Effects of familiarity and group size on mating preferences in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata

M. M. Mariette, S. R. K. Zajitschek, C. M. Garcia, R. C. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In recent years, it has become evident that frequency dependence in the attractiveness of a particular phenotype to mates can contribute to the maintenance of polymorphism. However, these preferences for rare and unfamiliar male phenotypes have only been demonstrated in small, controlled experiments. Here, we tested the preference for unfamiliar mates in groups of six to 96 individuals over 13 days, in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). We observed individual behaviour in situ to test whether fish discriminate two unfamiliar individuals among many familiar ones. We found that unfamiliar males and females were preferred over the familiar fishes in all groups and that this effect decayed over time. Increasing group sizes and levels of sexual activity did not hamper the preference for unfamiliar mates, providing further support for the role of frequency dependent mate choice in the maintenance of trait polymorphism in natural populations.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1772-1782
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Poecilia reticulata
familiarity
group size
mating behavior
phenotype
polymorphism
frequency dependence
mate choice
fish
genetic polymorphism
experiment
effect
testing
test
in situ

Keywords

  • colour polymorphism
  • group size
  • inbreeding avoidance
  • mate choice
  • multiple matings
  • polygamy
  • rare male
  • sexual harassment
  • social context

Cite this

Mariette, M. M. ; Zajitschek, S. R. K. ; Garcia, C. M. ; Brooks, R. C. / The Effects of familiarity and group size on mating preferences in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 2010 ; Vol. 23, No. 8. pp. 1772-1782.
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The Effects of familiarity and group size on mating preferences in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. / Mariette, M. M.; Zajitschek, S. R. K.; Garcia, C. M.; Brooks, R. C.

In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 23, No. 8, 2010, p. 1772-1782.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Effects of familiarity and group size on mating preferences in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata

AU - Mariette, M. M.

AU - Zajitschek, S. R. K.

AU - Garcia, C. M.

AU - Brooks, R. C.

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AB - In recent years, it has become evident that frequency dependence in the attractiveness of a particular phenotype to mates can contribute to the maintenance of polymorphism. However, these preferences for rare and unfamiliar male phenotypes have only been demonstrated in small, controlled experiments. Here, we tested the preference for unfamiliar mates in groups of six to 96 individuals over 13 days, in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). We observed individual behaviour in situ to test whether fish discriminate two unfamiliar individuals among many familiar ones. We found that unfamiliar males and females were preferred over the familiar fishes in all groups and that this effect decayed over time. Increasing group sizes and levels of sexual activity did not hamper the preference for unfamiliar mates, providing further support for the role of frequency dependent mate choice in the maintenance of trait polymorphism in natural populations.

KW - colour polymorphism

KW - group size

KW - inbreeding avoidance

KW - mate choice

KW - multiple matings

KW - polygamy

KW - rare male

KW - sexual harassment

KW - social context

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