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Sexual colouration and sperm traits in guppies

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The relationships among the area, hue, saturation and brightness of orange colouration and sperm traits in the guppy Poecilia reticulata were investigated. Males with greater areas of orange colouration had significantly larger sperm loads, more motile sperm and longer sperm relative to males with relatively little orange colouration. Males with greater areas of orange colouration did not possess more viable sperm than males with relatively little orange colouration. There was no evidence that any of the sperm traits were related to the hue, saturation or brightness of the orange colouration. These results are discussed in the context of the roles that direct and indirect selection might play in maintaining female preference for male guppies with large areas of orange colouration.

Keywords: fertility; good genes; guppy; mate choice; sexual ornamentation; sperm

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.01292.x

Affiliations: Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G5, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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