Female Xiphophorus maculatus Body Size Influence on Male Mate Choice
Emily Berkshire, Allyson Allen, Brian Rapp, Keifer Clark
Mate choice among animals in the wild is one of the strongest drivers of evolution due to the opportunity to make their offspring more fit for the environment. Individuals will often choose mates that physically reflect good health such as having a larger body size, vibrant coloration, and higher levels of activity. Researching the drivers of sexual selection is critical for understanding how certain physiological traits are carried on through generations. In sunburst platys (Xiphophorus maculatus), males will reflect specific mate-choice behavior when given two females that possess differences in these traits. Our research aims to investigate how body size in sunburst platys influences sexual selection and consequently gets naturally selected for over time. We hypothesized that male sunburst platys will consistently prefer females that express higher physical fitness in the form of larger body size. When looking at body size differences, we found that males do tend to display more overall mating behavior towards larger females over smaller females. When looking at each of the three individual behaviors separately, though, only the amount of darting behaviors were significant while the amount of following and biting behaviors by the male did not differ significantly between the large and small females.
Course Project 202310 BIO 330L 01
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences
"Female Xiphophorus maculatus Body Size Influence on Male Mate Choice" (2023). Stander Symposium Projects. 3110.
Presentation: 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom