Ichthyological Research

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 231–236 | Cite as

Mating success of male guppy Poecilia reticulata in the wild

  • Aya Sato
Full Paper


To understand how the diversity among male sexual traits is maintained despite directional female choice for attractive traits, it is important to study male reproductive success in each reproductive episode. Male reproductive success is indeed the comprehensive result of several processes such as mate choice, mating, and fertilization. In this study, male mating success was estimated in a wild guppy Poecilia reticulata population of Hiji River, Okinawa Island, in southern Japan. The mating success of males was estimated as the percentage of sperm transferred in relation to the total sperm reserve. In a preliminary experiment, it was confirmed that the sperm reserves of males were partly replenished after 12 h and fully replenished after 72 h, when all sperm were released. In addition, the results of investigation in the wild population revealed that approximately 20% of males had no sperm reserves at all, although their sperm reserves should have been replenished by sexual isolation. Male sexual traits such as body size or color pattern did not affect the percentage of sperm transferred. Results from this study provide important insights into male sperm transfer ability and sperm production in this population. However, the high frequency of male sperm-transfer success estimated in this study should to be taken with caution, and whether it is due to differences between wild and laboratory conditions, sex ratio or the rates of multiple matings by females in the wild population remain to be fully explored.


Mating success Sperm bundle Sexual selection Wild guppies 



I would like to thank Kobayashi T and Sakiyama M for collecting the experimental fishes. I am grateful to Karino K for giving insightful comments and suggestions on the manuscript, and to the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. This study was partially supported by the Grant-in-Aid for Research Activity Start-up in Program for Promoting the Reform of National Universities.


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationGunma UniversityMaebashiJapan

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