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MATE CHOICE COPYING IN GUPPIES: FEMALES AVOID THE PLACE WHERE THEY SAW COURTSHIP

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Recent evidence shows that females of many species may copy the mate choice of other females, potentially resulting in the cultural inheritance of mating preferences. The best evidence of mate choice copying has been obtained from studies on guppies, but studies on some guppy populations have failed to find evidence of copying. I report on an experiment in which I found no evidence of mate choice copying in a feral Australian population, either in a traditional 'dichotomous choice tank' design or when females had an opportunity to swim and interact freely with the males. Instead, I found that females tended to avoid the side of the tank on which they had seen a male courting a female. This may not be a mate choice strategy, but possibly a predator avoidance or foraging strategy.

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