Color polymorphisms and alternative male mating strategies

Girardinus metallicus, a livebearer endemic to Cuba, exhibits a fascinating male polymorphism with three discrete morphs: (1) non-displaying males with plain colorations, (2) non-displaying males with yellow coloration along the belly, and (3) displaying males with prominent black coloration along the belly. In collaboration with Gita Kolluru (Cal Poly) and Ingo Schlupp (University of Oklahoma), we are investigating the genetic and developmental basis of this polymorphism and exploring the function and evolutionary mechanisms that are maintaining the different morphs within populations.