Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 253–255

Tail size and female choice in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata)


  • Robert J. Bischoff
    • Department of BiologyPrinceton University
  • James L. Gould
    • Department of BiologyPrinceton University
  • Daniel I. Rubenstein
    • Department of BiologyPrinceton University

DOI: 10.1007/BF00300143

Cite this article as:
Bischoff, R.J., Gould, J.L. & Rubenstein, D.I. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (1985) 17: 253. doi:10.1007/BF00300143


Under laboratory conditions, female guppies demonstrate a clear preference for males with larger tails, and this preference translates into enhanced reproductive fitness for these males. Females also prefer males with higher display rates, a behavior which appears to be linked to tail size, but which can be experimentally disassociated. This appears to be a case of female-choice sexual selection.

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© Springer-Verlag 1985