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Upstream guppies (Poecilia reticulata, Peters, 1859) go against the flow

Gupies (Poecilia reticulata, Peters, 1859) de áreas de cabeceira se posicionam contra a corrente

Ryan Simon Mohammed Cock van Oosterhout Bettina Schelkle Joanne Cable Mark McMullan About the authors

Guppies (Poecilia reticulata Peters 1859) in lakes and from captive-bred populations are predicted to show little rheotaxis compared to conspecifics in a stream environment that are regularly exposed to flash floods associated with involuntary downstream migration. Here we test this hypothesis using an artificial stream, examining guppies of two wild riverine populations, one lake population, and one ornamental strain. Guppies from the most upstream riverine habitat show the most pronounced rheotaxis and are less likely to be swept downstream during flooding events. However, there is no significant difference between guppies from the lowland riverine habitat, the Pitch Lake and ornamental strain. We propose that station-keeping behaviours are most strongly selected in the upstream population because large spatial differences exist in ecology and environment between up- and downstream habitats. Given that these sites are separated by barrier waterfalls that prevent compensatory upstream migration, natural selection operates particularly strong against upstream guppies that have been displaced downstream during flooding events.

Guppy; rheotaxis; swimming behaviour; migration; natural selection

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil