A new study has found that male fish which exhibit homosexual behaviour increase their chances of success with the ladies.
Female fish are attracted to males that they have seen interacting sexually with other fish — and it doesn't matter whether that other fish also happens to be male!
In a study on the Atlantic molly (Poecilia mexicana), researchers from the University of Frankfurt found that homosexual behaviour between males still attracted the attentions of the females.
Males of the species nip potential mates near their genital openings to signal that they are ready to mate — behaviour which scientists say may demonstrate the health and virility of a male according to his level of exertion.
However, less attractive or subordinate males that may otherwise lose out in the popularity stakes to larger, more colourful males, have been observed to nip potential partners of either sex.
Researchers found that the females were more attracted to these subordinate males once they had seen them indulging in this nipping behaviour, regardless of whether it was a homosexual interaction or not.
The scientists speculate that by interacting with members of the same sex in this way, less attractive males stand a better chance of getting to mate with females — and if their actions are successful, it makes those males much more likely to interact homosexually again in the future.
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