Natural and sexual selection on color patterns in poeciliid fishes

Synopsis

In poeciliid fishes, sexual dichromism is associated with larger size and larger broods, but there is no relationship between sexual size dimorphism and sexual dichromism, or between degree of dichromism and color pattern polymorphism. Factors are discussed which influence the evolution of color pattern polymorphisms, sexual dimorphism and dichromism. Detailed studies of South American species have shown that the color patterns of poeciliid fishes have predictable effects in (1) avoiding diurnal visually hunting predators; (2) mating success; and (3) species recognition. Data from some Central American species indicate that some color pattern elements may be closely linked to physiologically variable loci, which further affect the variation in color patterns. Different elements of any given color pattern can be influenced by different modes of natural selection; in guppies the relationship between predation intensity and color pattern is different for melanin, carotenoid, and structural colors. Different color patterns have different degrees of conspicuousness on different backgrounds, and may appear differently to predators and mates with differing visual abilities.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References cited

  1. Baerends, G.P., R. Brouwer & H.T. Waterbolk. 1955. Ethological studies onLebistes reticulatus (Peters). 1. An analysis of the male courtship pattern. Behaviour 8: 249–335.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Balsano, J.S., K. Kucharski, R.J. Randle, E.M. Rasch & P.J. Monaco. 1981. Reduction of competition between bisexual and unisexual fishes ofPoecilia in northeastern Mexico. Env. Biol. Fish. 6: 39–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Balon, E.K. 1975. Reproductive guilds of fishes: a proposal and definition. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 32: 821–864.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Balon, E.K. 1983. Patterns in the evolution of reproductive styles in fishes.In: G.F. Potts & R.J. Wootton (ed.) Fish Reproduction: Strategies and Tactics, Academic Press, London. (In print).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Borowsky, R.L. 1973. Relative size and development of fin coloration inXiphophorus variatus. Physiol. Zool. 46: 22–28.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Borowsky, R.L. 1978a. The tailspot polymorphism ofXiphophorus (Pisces: Poeciliidae). Evolution 32: 886–893.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Borowsky, R.L. 1978b. Social inhibition of maturation in natural populations ofXiphophorus variatus (Pisces: Poeciliidae). Science 201: 933–935.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Borowsky, R. L. 1981. Tailspots ofXiphophorus and the evolution of conspicuous polymorphisms. Evolution 35: 345–358.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Borowsky, R.L. & K.D. Kallman. 1976. Patterns of mating in natural populations ofXiphophorus (Pisces: Poeciliidae). I.X. maculatus from Belize and Mexico. Evolution 30: 693–706.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Borowsky, R. L. & J. Khouri. 1976. Patterns of mating in natural populations ofXiphophorus (Pisces: Poeciliidae). II.X. variatus from Tamaulipas, Mexico. Copeia 1976: 727–734.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Byron, E.R. 1981. Metabolic stimulation by light in a pigmented freshwater invertebrate. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 78: 1765–1767.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Clark, E. & L.R. Aronson. 1951. Sexual behavior in the guppy,Lebistes reticulatus. Zoologica 36: 49–66.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Constantz, G.D. 1975. Behavioral ecology of mating in the male gila topminnow,Poeciliopsis occidentalis (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae). Ecology 56: 966–973.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Cott, H.B. 1940. Adaptive coloration in animals. Methuen and Co., London. 508 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Davies, B.H. 1976. Carotenoids. pp. 38–165.In: T.W. Goodwin (ed.) Chemistry and Biochemistry of Plant Pigments, Academic Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Dussault, G.V. 1980. Feeding behavior in the guppy,Poecilia reticulata (Pisces: Poeciliidae). M.S. Thesis, McGill University, Montreal. 71 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Endler, J.A. 1978. A predator's view of animal color patterns. Evol. Biol. 11: 319–364.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Endler, J.A. 1980. Natural selection on color patterns inPoecilia reticulata. Evolution 34: 76–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Endler, J.A. 1982. Convergent and divergent effects of natural selection on color patterns in two fish faunas. Evolution 36: 178–188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Farr, J.A. 1976. Social facilitation of male sexual behavior, intrasexual competition, and sexual selection in the guppy,Poecilia reticulata (Pisces, Poeciliidae). Evolution 30: 707–717.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Farr, J.A. 1977. Male rarity or novelty, female choice behavior, and sexual selection in the guppy,Poecilia reticulata Peters (Pisces, Poeciliidae). Evolution 31: 162–168.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Farr, J.A. 1980a. Social behavior patterns as determinants of reproductive success in the guppy,Poecilia reticulata Peters (Pisces, Poeciliidae). An experimental study of the effects of intermale competition, female choice, and sexual selection. Behaviour 74: 38–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Farr, J.A. 1980b. The effects of sexual experience and female receptivity on courtship-rape decisions in male guppies,Poecila reticulata (Pisces: Poecihidae). Anim. Behav. 28: 1195–1201.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Farr, J.A. & W.F. Herrnkind. 1974. A quantitative analysis of social interaction of the guppy,Poecilia reticulata (Pisces, Poeciliidae), as a function of population density. Anim. Behav. 22: 582–591.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Fisher, R.A. 1930. The evolution of dominance in certain polymorphic species. Amer. Nat. 64: 385–406.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Fox, H.M. & G. Vevers. 1960. The nature of animal colors. Sidgewick & Jackson, London.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Gandolfi, G. 1971. Sexual selection in relation to social status of males inPoecilia reticulata (Teleostei, Poeciliidae). Boll. Zool. 38: 35–48.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Ghiselin, M.T. 1974. The economy of nature and the evolution of sex. Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 346 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Gorlick, D.L. Dominance hierarchies and factors influencing dominance in the guppy,Poecilia reticulata Peters. Anim. Behav. 24: 336–346.

  30. Greene. R.J., Jr. 1972. Female preferential selection for males inLebistes reticulatus. Undergraduate Biology thesis, Univ. Utah, Salt Lake City.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Haskins, C.P. & E.F. Haskins. 1949. The role of sexual selection as an isolating mechanism in three species of Poeciliid fishes. Evolution 3: 160–169.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Haskins, C.P. & E.F. Haskins. 1950. Factors governing sexual selection as an isolating mechanism in the Poeciliid fishLebistes reticulatus. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 36: 464–476.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Haskins, C.P., E.F. Haskins, J.J.A. McLaughlin & R.E. Hewitt. 1961. Polymorphism and population structure inLebistes reticulatus, a population study. pp. 320–395.In: W.F. Blair (ed.) Vertebrate Speciation, Univ. Texas Press, Austin.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Hildemann, W.H. & E.D. Wagner. 1954. Intraspecific sperm competition inLebistes. Amer. Nat. 88: 87–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Hynes, H.B.N. 1970. The ecology of running waters. Univ. Liverpool Press, Liverpool 555 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Jacobs, K. 1971. Livebearing aquarium fishes. MacMillan, New York. 461 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Kallman, K.D. 1975. The platyfish,Xiphophorus maculatus. pp. 81–132.In: R.C. King (ed.) Handbook of Genetics, vol. 4, Vertebrates of Genetic Interest, Plenum Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Kallman, K.D. & V. Borkoski. 1978. A sex-linked gene controlling the onset of sexual maturity in female and male platyfish (Xiphophorus maculatus), fecundity in females and adult size in males. Genetics 89: 79–119.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. Keenleyside, M.H.A. 1979. Diversity and adaptation in fish behavior. Springer Verlag, New York. 208 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Kennedy, C.F.J. 1979. Factors influencing the sexual behavior of the guppy,Poecilia reticulata. Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. Leicester, Leicester, England. 197 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Kirkpatrick, M. 1982. Sexual selection and the evolution of female choice. Evolution 36: 1–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Lande, R. 1980. Sexual dimorphism, sexual selection, and adaptation in polygenic characters. Evolution 34: 292–305.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Lande, R. 1981). Models of speciation by sexual selection on polygenic traits. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 79: 3721–3725.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Lewontin, R.C. 1974. The genetic basis of evolutionary change. Columbia Univ Press, New York. 346 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Liley, R.N. 1966. Ethological isolating mechanisms in four sympatric species of Poeciliid fishes. Behaviour Supplement 13: 1–197.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Liley, R.N. & B.H. Seghers. 1975. Factors affecting the morphology and behavior of guppies in Trinidad. pp. 92–118.In: G.P. Baerends, C. Beer & A. Manning (ed.) Function and Evolution in Behavior, Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Martin, F.D. & M.F. Hengstebeck. 1981. Eye color and aggression in juvenile guppies,Poecilia reticulata (Pisces: Poeciliidae). Anim. Behav. 29: 325–331.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Martin, R.G. 1977. Density-dependent advantage in melanistic maleGambusia. Florida Sci. 40: 393–400.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Miller, R.R. 1966. Geographical distribution of Central American freshwater fishes. Copeia 1966: 773–802.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Peters, G. 1964. Vergleichende Untersuchungen an drei Subspecies vonXiphophorus helleri (Haeckel) (Pisces). Z. Zool. Syst. Evol. 2: 185–271.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Reznick, D.N. 1980. Life history evolution in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 224 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Reznick, D.N. & J.A. Endler. 1982. The impact of predation on life history evolution in Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) Evolution 36: 160–177.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Rosen, D.E. 1979. Fishes from the uplands and intermontane basins of Guatemala: revisionary studies and comparative biogeography. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 162: 268–375.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Rosen, D.E. & R.M. Bailey. 1963. The Poeciliid fishes (Cyprinodontiformes), their structure, zoogeography, and systematics. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 126: 1–176.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Rosen, D.E. & M. Gordon. 1953. Functional anatomy and evolution of male genitalia in Poeciliid fishes. Zoologica 38: 1–48.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Rosen, D.E. & K.D. Kallman. 1969. A new fish of the genusXiphophorus from Guatemala, with remarks on the taxonomy of endemic forms. Amer. Mus. Novit. 2379: 1–29.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Rosen, D.E. & A. Tucker. 1961. Evolution of secondary sexual characters and sexual behavior patterns in a family of viviparous fishes (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae). Copeia 1961: 201–212.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Rothschild, M. 1975. Remarks on carotenoids in the evolution of signals. pp. 20–47.In: L.E. Gilbert & P.H. Raven (ed.) Coevolution of Animals and Plants, Univ. Texas Press, Austin.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Schreibman, M.P. & K.D. Kallman. 1978. The genetic control of sexual maturation in the teleostXiphophorus maculatus (Poeciliidae); a review. Ann Biol. Anim. Biochem. Biophys. 18: 957–962.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Seghers, B.H. 1973. An analysis of geographic variation in the antipredator adaptations of the guppy,Poecilia reticulata. Ph.D. Thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. 273 pp

    Google Scholar 

  61. Thomson, G. 1977. The effect of a selected locus on linked neutral loci. Genetics 85: 753–788.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  62. Warburton, B., C. Hubbs & D.W. Hagen. 1957. Reproductive behavior ofGambusia heterochir. Copeia 1957: 299–300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Whitton, B.A. (ed.). 1975. River ecology. Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 725 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Wickler, W. 1968. Mimicry in plants and animals. Weidenfield & Nicholson World University Library, London. 255 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Winge, O. 1937. Succession of broods in Lebistes. Nature 140: 467.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Wourms, J.P. 1981. Viviparity: the maternal-fetal relationship in fishes. Amer. Zool. 21: 473–515.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Yamamoto, T. 1975. The medaka,Oryzias latipes, and the guppy,Lebistes reticulatus. pp. 133–149.In: R.C. King (ed.) Handbook of Genetics, vol. 4, Vertebrates of Genetic Interest. Plenum Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Zander, C.K. 1965. Die Geschlechtsbestimmung beiXiphophorus montezumae cortezi Rosen (Pisces). Z. Vererbungslehre 96: 128–141.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Endler, J.A. Natural and sexual selection on color patterns in poeciliid fishes. Environ Biol Fish 9, 173–190 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00690861

Download citation

Keywords

  • Crypsis
  • Mate choice
  • Mimicry
  • Neotropical fishes
  • Predation
  • Predator avoidance
  • Sexual dichromism
  • Sexual dimorphism