5 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The guppy (Poecilia reticulata) is a successful invasive species. It is also a species that mates multiply; previous studies have demonstrated that this strategy carries fitness benefits. Guppies are routinely introduced to tanks and troughs in regions outside their native range for mosquito-control purposes, and often spread beyond these initial confines into natural water bodies with negative ecological consequences. Here, using a mesocosm set up that resembles the containers into which single guppies are typically introduced for mosquito control, we ask whether singly-mated females are at a disadvantage, relative to multiply-mated females, when it comes to founding a population. Treatments were monitored for one year. Results: A key finding was that mating history did not predict establishment success, which was 88% in both treatments. Furthermore, analysis of behavioural traits revealed that the descendants of singly-mated females retained antipredator behaviours, and that adult males showed no decrease in courtship vigour. Also, we detected no differences in behavioural variability between treatments. Conclusions: These results suggest that even when denied the option of multiple mating, singly-mated female guppies can produce viable populations, at least at the founder stage. This may prove to be a critical advantage in typical introduction scenarios where few individuals are released into enclosed water bodies before finding their way into natural ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Ecology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2014


  • Poecilia reticulata
  • Polyandry
  • Invasive species
  • Mesocosms
  • Population viability


Dive into the research topics of 'Forced monogamy in a multiply mating species does not impede colonisation success'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this