Month: September 2017

New paper out in Ethology

Elizabeth’s paper on swordtails is now available online here. This was the centerpiece of her Masters Degree work, and also a great collaborative effort with Lloyd Bumm from our Physics Department.


The outdoor season for the fishes in winding down. We are in the process of moving them to their stock tanks inside the Greenhouse. Winters in Norman are not warm enough to keep fishes outside.

Color changing Swordtails

Green swordtails (Xiphophorus hellerii) have colorful lateral stripes. In one population from Actopan in Veracruz, we detected that they can actually change the color of the lateral stripe. Dominant males sport a red stripe, whereas subdominant males show a brownish, black stripe. They can change color within a few seconds to minutes. This was first discovered by Sam Rhodes and a follow up study by Elizabeth Hardy is about to be published in Ethology. Click on Color Changing Swordtail to see a short movie filmed by Sam Rhodes.