Some of their common predators in the wild are Crenicichla alta , Anablepsoides hartii , and Aequidens pulcher. Guppies are well developed and capable of independent existence without further parental care by the time they are born. Most females spent a longer time next to the male that was courting. For example, the lower Tacarigua River has a larger variety of species and competition for invertebrate prey is higher, therefore the proportion of invertebrates is small in diets of those guppies. Inbreeding depression is considered to be due largely to the expression of homozygous deleterious recessive mutations. Female guppies are attracted to brightly colored males, especially ones with orange spots on the flanks. Because of this connection, females are possibly selecting for healthy males with superior foraging abilities by choosing mates with bright orange carotinoid pigments, thus increasing the survival chance of her offspring.
Female guppies first produce offspring at 10—20 weeks of age, and they continue to reproduce until 20—34 months of age. Most females spent a longer time next to the male that was courting. Shoaling guppies spend less time and energy on antipredatory behavior than solitary ones and spend more time on feeding. Older females produce offspring with reduced size and at increased interbrood intervals. A variety of guppy strains are produced by breeders through selective breeding , characterized by different colours, patterns, shapes, and sizes of fins, such as snakeskin and grass varieties. Taxonomy[ edit ] Guppies were first described in Venezuela as Poecilia reticulata by Wilhelm Peters in and as Lebistes poecilioides in Barbados by De Filippi in In guppies, a post-copulatory mechanism of inbreeding avoidance occurs based on competition between sperm of rival males for achieving fertilization. Guppies may adopt a conditional-approach strategy that resembles tit for tat. In an experiment, female guppies watched two males, one solitary and the other actively courting another female, and were given a choice between the two. Female guppies are attracted to brightly colored males, especially ones with orange spots on the flanks. Brood size is extremely variable, yet some consistent differences exist among populations depending on the predation level and other factors. Young guppies school together and perform antipredator tactics. Females' preference for novel males in remating can explain the excessive phenotypic polymorphism in male guppies. The cost of multiple mating for males is very low because they do not provide material benefit to the females or parental care to the offspring. Schooling is more favored by evolution in populations of guppies under high predation pressure, exerted either by predator type or predator density. Experiments show that remating females prefer a novel male to the original male or a brother of the original male with similar phenotypes. Many domestic strains have morphological traits that are very distinct from the wild-type antecedents. While wild-type females are grey in body color, males have splashes, spots, or stripes that can be any of a wide variety of colors. Male guppies mature in 7 weeks or less. They may also form a group for protection, the size of which is larger in high-predation populations. The hypothesis was supported in laboratory experiments. This behavior, called predator inspection, benefits the inspector since it gains information, but puts the inspector at a risk of predation. For example, females that mate multiply are found to be able to produce more offspring in shorter gestation time, and their offspring tend to have better qualities such as enhanced schooling and predator evasion abilities. Male guppies that are brighter in color have an advantage in mating as they attract more females in general, but they have a higher risk of being noticed by predators than duller males. Laboratory experiments confirmed that guppies show 'diet switching' behavior, in which they feed disproportionately on the more abundant food when they are offered two food choices. Males and females of many domestic strains usually have larger body size and are much more lavishly ornamented than their wild-type antecedents. Algal remains constitute the biggest proportion of wild guppy diet in most cases, but diets vary depending on the specific conditions of food availability in the habitat.
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