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THE ROLE OF EXPERIENCE IN MATING PREFERENCES OF THE UNISEXUAL AMAZON MOLLY

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The all-female fish Poecilia formosa uses sperm of Poecilia latipinna or P. mexicana for its gynogenetic reproduction. Normally, P. formosa lives in sympatry with only one of these species. Near Tampico, Mexico, one population of P. formosa is living in sympatry with both sperm-donor species. In the present study, using animated videos as stimuli, we examined whether P. formosa from Tampico show a sexual preference for males of one of the two species. We raised P. formosa females with males of P. latipinna or P. mexicana only, and as a control with males of both species simultaneously. We found that previous experience affects mating preferences in P. formosa. Females tend to prefer males of the species they were raised with.

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