Guppy Fish Make Friends With Uglier To Look Better

15.02.2013

Male guppies are the ones caught doing so, since it's much easier to win over a female when opposed to inattractive competitors. As a matter of fact, males do it even if there's no female in sight. Probably they find living much easier if their friends look worse than themselves. What if their self-confidence grows? It's kind of strange to talk that way about guppy fishes. However, this behavior was proven obvious after a series of experiments conducted at the University of Padua.

Guppies communicate with females only when accompanied by ugly friends or alone

This is how the experiment was run. The researchers put two female guppies in different corners of the aquarium. Female #1 was surrounded by bright beautiful males. Female #2 made company with inattractive males of dull color. After settling those two groups scientists would let another male in the aquarium. And he would always make his way to the group with female #2. Besides that, the uglier were the males that surrounded the female, the closer male guppy would get to the female.

Moreover, the test male behavior didn't change even when the two females were taken out. Average-looking guppy would still prefer to commmunicate with less attractive fish group. The researchers supposed that this behavior might have been caused by a potential danger – a predator would see the group of birght fishes first. However, after they turned the lights out, the bahavior of test males didn't change either. Apparently, guppies are very vulnerable, and communication with more attractive individuals would drop down their self-confidence.

Photo: Shutterstock.