Colour pattern component phenotypic divergence can be predicted by the light environment.
Published Web Locationhttp://10.0.4.87/jeb.13342
The sensory drive hypothesis predicts that across different light environments sexually selected colour patterns will change to increase an animal's visual communication efficiency within different habitats. This is because individuals with more efficient signal components are likely to have more successful matings and hence produce more offspring. However, how colour pattern signals change over multiple generations under different light environmental conditions has not been tested experimentally. Here, we manipulated colour pattern signal efficiency by providing different ambient light environments over multiple generations to examine whether male colour pattern components change within large replicated populations of guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We report that colour patches change within populations over time and are phenotypically different among our three different light environments. Visual modelling suggests that the majority of these changes can be understood by considering the chroma, hue and luminance of each colour patch as seen by female guppies under each light environment. Taken together, our results support the hypothesis that different environmental conditions during signal reception can directly or indirectly drive the phenotypic diversification of visual signals within species.