Female choice linked to male dorsal fin height in a shortfin molly

Rebecca Jordan, David Howe, Tyson Knight, James Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Sexual selection is a possible mechanism of speciation. This could be true even in systems where female mate choice has not been clearly observed, because pre-existing biases may be expressed if female decision-making results in male trait evolution. In some mollies, males have enlarged dorsal fins and courtship display is the prevailing mating process. In others, male dominance is thought to play a greater role. We tested females of a species in the latter group, Poecilia mexicana, for consistent preference related to dorsal fin morphology. We found that females were biased toward larger dorsal fins. This latent preference could be an important driver in trait evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-304
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Ethology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


  • Female choice
  • Latent preference
  • Mollies
  • Poecilia
  • Pre-existing bias


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