Document Type



Among live-bearing fish, females often prefer larger or more
colorful males, or males engaging in ritualized courtship. However,
in eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, the factors affecting
females' choice of males are unclear. We tested whether female
Gambusia prefer to spend time near unfamiliar males over males
with whom they have prior experience, expecting that females
would prefer unfamiliar males. We examined both visual/olfactory
and full exposure experience with males. As a control, we tested
females with pairs of unfamiliar males. Control females showed no
preferences between males. Females in the visual/olfactory
experiment spent more time with males in general following 30-
minute exposure, compared to 24-hour exposure. In the f.ull
exposure experiment, females spent more time with unfamiliar
males only after 24 hours of previous exposure to the familiar
male. We discuss the data in the context of mate choice,
familiarity, female deprivation, and sexual satiation.