Yes, guppies do protect their eggs. Guppies are livebearers, which means that they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. However, before giving birth, female guppies carry their embryos inside their bodies for several weeks. During this time, the embryos are protected by the mother’s body and are nourished by the yolk sac attached to them.
Once the female guppy is ready to give birth, she will find a safe place to do so, such as a clump of plants or a hiding spot in the aquarium. This is where the protective behavior of guppies really comes into play. After giving birth, the female will immediately begin to eat any leftover embryos or newborn fry that she can find. This is because guppies have a cannibalistic tendency, and the mother will eat her own offspring if given the chance.
However, male guppies will often protect the newborn fry from being eaten by the mother or other fish in the tank. They will chase away any fish that come too close to the fry and will even defend them from potential predators. This behavior is known as paternal care and is quite common among livebearing fish species.
In addition to male protection, the fry themselves have a few tricks up their sleeves to avoid being eaten. They are born with a dark stripe along their bodies that helps them blend into the shadows and avoid detection. They also have a reflex that causes them to dart away from any sudden movements or disturbances in the water.
Overall, guppies do protect their eggs and newborn fry, both through maternal and paternal care. This protective behavior is crucial for the survival of the species, as guppies are highly susceptible to predation and cannibalism.
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