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Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2021, Vol 21, Num, 7     (Pages: 357-364)

Long-term Exposure to Predation Threat Can Modulate the Expression of Sexually Selected Traits in Male Guppy (Poecilia reticulata)

Md. Moshiur Rahman 1 ,Prianka Biswas 1 ,Sazzad Hossain 1 ,Sheikh Mustafizur Rahman 1-2 ,Ahmed Saud Alsaqufi 3 ,Md. Mahmud-Al-Hasan 1-4 ,Prema Hazra 1 ,Md. Mostafizur Rahman 5 ,Md. Asadujjaman 6

1 Khulna University, Fisheries and Marine Resource Technology Discipline, Khulna-9208, Bangladesh
2 King Faisal University, Fish Resources Research Center, Hofuf-420, Al-Ahsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 King Faisal University, Animal and Aquaculture Production Department, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Hofuf-420, Al-Ahsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4 University of Bremen, International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology, 28359 Bremen, Germany
5 Bangladesh University of Professionals, Disaster and Human Security Management, Dhaka, Bangladesh
6 Khulna Agricultural University, Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Khulna, Bangladesh
DOI : 10.4194/1303-2712-v21_7_05 Viewed : 159 - Downloaded : 209 The expression of sexual traits can be affected by different environmental factors among which predation may be particularly important life-history traits. This study investigated the effects of predation risk on courtship behavior, growth and sexual color patterns in male guppy (Poecilia reticulata). In the study, juvenile male guppies were randomly assigned to two treatments, namely T1 (predation threat) and T2 (no predation threat). The courtship performances were visually observed and recorded, while color patterns and morphological traits were measured by using the ImageJ software from the captured photos. The courtship behavioral trials revealed that predation threatened males performed significantly lower number of sigmoid displays than those of no-predation group. Further, the predation scared group had significantly shorter standard length, body area and a reduced number and area of orange spots than their counter group. However, the predation threat did not affect significantly the gonopodial thrusts, and black and iridescent color components (spot number and area). The reduction of costly traits (e.g. behavior, color patterns and body size) is common anti-predator response which presumably reduces predation risks. Male guppies are probably using this form of defence in response to the increased predation risk. The overall result suggests that growth and sexually selected trait expression are sensitive to predation risk and thereby aid in our understanding to predict the evolution of phenotypic variation in natural systems. Keywords : Environment, Predator, Courtship, Growth, Ornament