Class Year

2015

Date

12-5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Distinguished Thesis

Yes

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Biology

First Advisor

Anne Houde

Second Advisor

Douglas Light

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Fischer

Abstract

Siamese fighting fish, or Betta splendens, are known for their flashy colors and extremely aggressive behavior. They are a perfect model species for studying sexual behavior. First, I reviewed betta mate choice and the courtship ritual. Female betta are known to select a male based on a number of visual cues such as male size, vigor, fin length, and aggression in addition to male territory and bubble nest quality. Then I examined what mattered most to the female: movement or coloration. I studied this phenomenon in captive bred betta fish and found that females prefer red colored males over blue coloration in males. However, when red males were anesthetized, female betta preferred blue colored males over red colored males. This preference for red coloration may reflect the role of carotenoid dependent signaling.


Included in

Biology Commons

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