Mate-choice copying in free-ranging Trinidadian guppies ( Poecilia reticulata ) Jean-Guy J. Godin ∗ ) & Kimberley P.E. Hair (Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1S 5B6) (Accepted: 5 April 2009) Summary The social experiences of individuals can influence their mate-choice decisions. Mate-choice copying is considered to have occurred if an individual’s observation of a sexual interaction between a male and a female increases its likelihood of subsequently preferring the individual observed mating. Although such copying behaviour has been documented extensively in the laboratory, there exists only very limited evidence for its occurrence in nature. Here, we ex- perimentally investigated female mate-choice copying in a wild Trinidadian population of the guppy ( Poecilia reticulata ), a species that exhibits such copying behaviour in the laboratory. Using a pair of Plexiglas tanks placed in situ in a river in Trinidad, we presented free-ranging adult females with a binary choice of viewing and affiliating with either of two similar-sized stimulus males: one male was viewed next to a visible model (demonstrator) female and the other male viewed apparently alone (placed next to a pseudo-model female hidden from the subject females). Focal subject females preferred to associate with the
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
Keywords: FISH; MATE-CHOICE COPYING; POECILIA RETICULATA; GUPPY; SEXUAL SELECTION; MATE CHOICE
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