Types of Bettas, by colour, tailss, patterns and genetics.

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The Betta has been bred in many different types, having a variety of different colours, colour patterns and tail forms. The selective breeding began in S.E. Asia long ago, with breeding of the Plakat Morh, the true Fighting Fish of Thailand, Plakat Khmer, the Cambodian colour form, and the Plakat Cheen, the long-finned, ornamental variety. Modern breeding programmes have greatly extended the range of colours, fin types and patterns so that many combinations exist. These all derive from the Plakat Khmer and Plakat Cheen. The main forms and colour types are listed here, with a brief description of their genetics and breeding. At our hatchery, we are developing the Royal Blue/green complex, Crown Tails and the Double-tailed varieties, in an attempt to breed improved Double-tailed Turquoise and Royal Blue Bettas. Delta Tails and Half Moons will be a future breeding line. We also keep Red, Yellow and Cambodian Bettas. The pictures on this page are not necessarily of my fish but are images gathered from many places over time. I thank all those Betta growers and photographers whose pictures I have used for their assistance and cooperation. This is a free, educational page and all images are used for study purposes.

The Colours in Betta splendens
Solid reds are non iridescent colours and must have the colour spread evenly over the body. A clean red is desirable, without iridescent colours and no fading. Reds range in hue from beautiful, vermillion reds to deep crimson and red/brown colours. The quality of the colour varies among strains, with most red Bettas showing some iridescence or other colours to some degree. Any opaque overlay detracts from a good red, giving rise to muted reds and pinks.


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tailss. Steel Blue. The Melano x Black Lace lines are infertile. Steel Blue females x Melano males and Royal Blue females x Melano males have produced Blacks with considerable iridescence present. This factor is present in Cambodians and in yellows and apricot colours. e. Steel Blue results from the allele combination blbl. patterns and genetics. The Red Loss factor causes Bettas that are red as juveniles to lose that colour as the mature. Black is one of the most difficult colours to achieve. Black (melano) Black in Bettas is often a smoky black.tripod. Several crosses with other colours have tried to alleviate this problem. http://watershed3. as the melano gene produces infertile Black females. A brilliant cherry red is most desired in red Betta splendens without any iridescence or opaque colour to mask the solid red. A smoky Melano with some royal blue Steel Blue is also sometimes called Metallic Blue. Green. by colour. The ideal colour of a true Black Betta splendens resembles that of the Black Mollie.html (2 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . Steel Blue This colour has a metallic iridescence when compared to the Royal Blue Betta. smoky fins. Black Lace forms have transparent.Types of Bettas.g. Green and Turquoise Bettas have an interesting genetic inheritance pattern based on the Bl / bl alleles that show incomplete dominance and determine iridescence. Royal Blue.com/types. Melano x Celophane or yellows.

Double Tailed Steel Blues. 50% Green. The much sought after. It is often difficult to distinguish these two hues. Most Green Betta splendens have a bluish green hue but less so than a Turquoise variant. patterns and genetics. Steel Blue x Royal Blue gives 50% Royal. Fish with colours close to turquoise are often found in Royal Blue and Steel Blue spawns. 25% Green. Green x Green gives100% Green. Green x Royal Blue gives 50% Royal. Crossings: Steel Blue x Steel Blue gives100% Steel Blue offspring.com/types. A green RT female. dark. The ideal is a dark shade of turquoise. tailss. Royal Blue x Royal Blue gives 50% Royal. Green Green is the least fixed single colour and varies in shade from fish to fish and line to line. Choice greens are dark green. to distinguish them from the common green.Types of Bettas. forest green is rare.tripod. Consistent colour across the fish is rare.html (3 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . 25% Steel. Green x Steel Blue gives all Royal Blue. 50% Steel Blue Turquoise is a variation of the "green" colouring (BlBl alleles).a characteristic of the dt gene. The choice colour contains tones of blue rather than any Green or Yellow shades. This and the turquoise hues derive from the same alleles (BlBl). Turquoise A variant of the green. Notice the additional rays in the dorsal fin of this Double-tailed type-. by colour. http://watershed3. with a distinct blue hue.

solid royal blue is the choice form: the genotype Blbl or blBl gives a deep. tailss. The ideal colour lacks reds and greens. in which the eyes are yellow. AVT yellow. http://watershed3. Colours that tend to be either a very pale yellow or a yellow-brown tinted are inferior colours. by colour. patterns and genetics. only the operculum is iridescent gold. Corn-flower blues are the same genotype as royal blues but with a dark head and corn-flower blue body. are rare.tripod. too. Turquoise. with golden iridescence. and Green.com/types. Royal blues with red factors may appear violet or purple when young and will lose it if the red-loss factor is present and so produce royal blues.Types of Bettas. In my yellow/apricot strain. although some breeders claim to have produced a golden yellow. rich royal blue in the green/steel blue/royal blue complex. Yellow results from a gene that transforms red so sometimes the presence of red is also visible.html (4 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . Red loss occurs also occurs in Steel Blue. A lutino form exists. Royal Blue Male Veil Tail Yellow Brilliant lemon yellows or even a butter yellow are the best yellow colours produced so far. Golden yellow Bettas. The most common form has a dark head and royal blue body and fins. A turquoise HM males Royal Blue and Corn-flower Blue The consistent.

Like Cellophane. White (Not albino) Some solid.Types of Bettas. A characteristic of any true Albino fish is that the body lacks all pigmentation. giving a net-like or pineapple appearance. patterns and genetics. Clear or Cellophane Has completely transparent fins. "Pineapple" Bettas are yellows with a distinct black outline to the scales. left. shows blue due to the colour rendering.tripod. These are yellow pastels of varying intensities. not a colour type. The fish is white. The image. with body fleshcoloured. tailss. To continue the fruity colours. True albino Bettas have red eyes. Some yellow Bettas show a faint orange tint to the fins and are called Apricot.html (5 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . A Peach Male Betta. Albino Rare. colour from the body organs can cause the fish to look pink. including the eyes which appear red. white Bettas are a truly beautiful dense white due to the Opaque factor. http://watershed3. Whites may have black eyes if they are not albino.com/types. Whites of this type have black eyes. Eyes are pigmented (not albino). by colour. with no pigmentation. these are completely colourless fish and may appear pinkish white or solid white if the opaque factor is present. Apricot and Peach Apricot yellows have a distinct pale orange tint to the yellow. Pineapple Bettas are pattern form.

Chocolate Chocolate Betta splendens look brown to the eye. and concepts of "orange" varies with individual breeders.Types of Bettas. including the eye colour in most cases. White Opaques appear dense white to opaque steel blue. but are actually a black and yellow mix. tailss. patterns and genetics. I have not seen any true orange Bettas in Australia. Orange Orange Bettas are a new strain of Betta splendens.html (6 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . Opaques (Pastels) The Opaque allele gives the fish a milky white overlay that dilutes the underlaying colours to pastel shades. There is an opaque form of each of the main colour types if the Op allele is present. How "orange" is orange? Perhaps an agreed colour chart would help distinguish true colour classification.com/types. Chocolate variants can be bred to yellow to improve colour of both the yellow and the chocolate fry. except for light reds that look more vermillion/orange than true orange and yellows that have a slight wash of orange/red.tripod. Pastels can be almost any pastel colour. Orange Betta http://watershed3. by colour.

html (7 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . My Royal Blue strain throws purple or violet fry that appear violet at their first show of colour and darken to royal blues within a few months. Lavender. Truly violet coloured Bettas are rare.tripod. imbellis. as the red fades (due to the red-loss factor. The many colours of aquarium-raised strains of Betta splendens can be grouped into several colour patterns: "wild type" The typical red/brown Betta splendens is a dull red. with some blue/green iridescence. by colour. The two species are closely related and the modern varieties of Betta splendens may descend from a hybrid of B.Types of Bettas. L) as the fish mature . tailss. patterns and genetics. Truly Purple Betta splendens are also very new and rare and it appears that the colour results from blending red and blue. Purple and Violet A lavender Betta is genetically a Cambodian Betta splendens with extended Red and a layer of light iridescent blue-green.com/types. Pictured is a specimen sold to me as a wild type Betta splendens but it looks very much like B. Betta splendens or Betta imbellis? http://watershed3. imbellis.

the body is one colour and the fins and tail are another colour. the main colours being red. green. patterns and genetics.dark fins type bi-colour The butterfly type is a variety of bicoloured patterning in Bettas. solid colour covering the entire body as well as the fins gives a fish of one colour. with dark fins (including the cambodian trait). black and white.com/types. lavender. and .tripod.html (8 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . Cambodian The pla kat kmer: a pinkish or white body with coloured fins (normally red) was the original Cambodian. solid colours Any continuous. steel blue. only two colours should appear on the fish. This is a sub-group of the bi-coloured Betta splendens. steel blue.. Cambodian Crown-tailed Betta http://watershed3.. royal blue. Includes both iridescent and non-iridescent colours. tailss. turquoise. There are two types of Bi-coloured Betta: a) dark body types.Types of Bettas. bi-coloured Essentially. These colours should be well defined and high in contrast Light body . In each case. Solid colour forms should have no colour breaks or show any iridescence. by colour. with light fins. purple. chocolate brown. yellow. The body and fins can be any combination of the recognised solid colours . b) light body types.

by colour. which ideally is separated from the body by a narrow. butterfly A bi-coloured form in which the colour pattern of the body (which may be of any colour) partially blends into the transparent or white fins and tail (body / blend / fin edges). BettaBiz displays some choice new varieties. Butterfly Betta. Fins should display a distinct banded pattern.tripod. It shows the trend in modern breeding lines for colour and pattern development.com/types. http://watershed3. displayed on the California Betta Society web page.html (9 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . Butterfly: a variegated butterfly type in which the band near the body is particularly wide. new variegated types << Pictured is a beautiful fish. Choice Butterfies have a coloured body with a white blend into the fins and then a final blend back to the body colour towards the edge of the fins. tailss. The effect is to create an oval band around the fish. white or transparent zone. with strong contrast and well defined edges. Variegated types show beautiful patterning that may or may not match the "butterfly" look.Types of Bettas. The bands should also encircle the body of the fish with a well defined oval shape. patterns and genetics.

html (10 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM .tripod. the "Tutweiler" BF) << Beautiful tri-coloured "Butterfly" types: while not a true BF in the strict sense. tailss. Both light bodied and dark bodied forms exist. However. Claire McHendrie's tri-coloured Butterfly: note the enhanced dorsal fin and the lack of ventral fins in this fish. by colour. tri-coloured Butterflies (incl. The strain is Cambodian based and not yet stable. is Diwa's "Tutweiler". http://watershed3.Types of Bettas.com/types. that pattern was not a fixed strain. Above. Some butterfly trains are tri-coloured. "Tutweiler" BF Crown Tail A notable early expression of this pattern was in Tutweiler"s BF. this pattening is more frequently encountered. a modern attempt at reproducing the Tutweiler BF in Crown tails bred in Indonesia. patterns and genetics. in which the body is paler than the band closest to the body.

tripod.html (11 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . green. A true butterfly would have a well defined colour break where the fins are blue in this specimen. green.com/types. White or salmon pink faced Bettas in which the colours are splashed or blotched with no defined borders between the body and the fins or tail. speckled In this colour pattern.Types of Bettas. marbled Two types of Marble Betta exist: a) the traditional Marble or Piebald. The fins of the choice Coloured Marble show a sharpedged mix of light and dark colours (red. blue. << Pictured left: a tricolour with Cambodian. A Coloured Marble multicoloured "Multicoloured" includes those fish that do not fit into any of the above mentioned pattern categories and have two or more contrasting colours. Tri-colours fit in this category. the body and fins are speckled with irrigular. which is a dark bodied fish with a white head or face and lacking in the colours red. Many modern Bettas fit this category. blue and steel blue. COLOUR INHERITANCE IN BETTAS http://watershed3. and steel blue) and the face and chin are white or pink / salmon coloured. and b) the Coloured Marble. by colour. dark spots like freckles. patterns and genetics. opaque and variegated alleles. tailss.

throw nice trailing DTs if the female carries that allele. incomplete dominance metallic blue-green iridescence* incomplete dominance green iridescence* recessive recessive dominant recessive dominant removes red.B. colour varies from cherry red to vermillion. It was bred from a Red strain. limits black black males. Notice how the dorsal fin (upper most fin) almost matches the lower most. and the iridescent layer is upper most. Blbl or blBl gives royal blue. colour blotches streaked fins and butterfly trait all red. white and some Cambodians dilutes colours by reducing melanin. patterns and genetics. lower case denotes a recessive or semi-dominant trait. Breeding from this fish may improve colour depth in yellows and. present in yellow.com/types. ++ or +w or w+ give normal coloured eyes and ww gives white eye. It also has the recessive white eye and double-tail factors. of course. Colour Genotypes. the Bl & bl alleles determines steel blue.an effect of the dt allele that imparts additional rays to the dorsal fin. upper case denotes dominance over +.html (12 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . all red colour fades as the fish matures. then black. anal fin for size. depending on other factors present. turquoise. Thus. BlBl gives green and blbl gives steel-blue. too. deadly in females. How would you describe this fish? A dark bodied bicolour or cellophane? This is a fish showing the red-loss factor.tripod. ER (or R ) extended red dominant *N. by colour. tailss. ww & dtdt. revealing the other colours if present. blue-green.) w white eye c Cambodian b black or m melano Si spread Iridocytes Op opaque bl Bl nr non-Red b blond L red-Loss mb marbled pattern Vf variegated fins recessive recessive recessive dominant dominant white outer ring to the eyes. There are four layers of color--the yellow is the bottom most. causes spread of iridescence over body and fins produces an opaque. L. Even dt-splits from this line will show improved dorsal fins. red. "Quasimoto" http://watershed3.Types of Bettas. present in all pastel colours. white coating on the body and fins. corn-flower and royal blue colours. notation: [+ denotes wild or "normal" form.

patterns and genetics. the "wild form" tail type The specimen pictured at the right. tailss. Alleles for Fin type All alleles dominant or recessive against this allele. approaches the delta-tail shape.tripod. drooping tail recessive: a true double caudal fin. has a tail form that is better than the wild form and Round-tail Male juvenile. >> + round-tail Female Round-tail Betta P veil tail dominant: long. in which there are two distinct tails (two caudal peduncles) and not just a split in a single tail: the dorsal fin mirrors the anal fin in DT Melano-Yellow Butterfly male dt double-tail http://watershed3.html (13 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM .com/types.Types of Bettas. by colour.

Heart Tails. Heart Tails have a partially fused twin caudal fin that gives them their characteristic shape. Fuse Tails and Triple Tails are all due to the dt allele.tripod. His body was also pineapple patterned. which is hard to achieve in DTs. Multi-DTs. The dt allele in a single dose is used in breeding to give improved tails and dorsal fin count (bred from one parent only and therefore not expressed as the recessive characteristic). Even dt-splits show an enhanced dorsal fin.each scale was outlined in black against a pale body. http://watershed3. dorsal and anal fins fused as one entire fin (rare).html (14 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . by colour. evenly sized caudal fins. Above: DT Steel Blue Male I have bred from a fish very similar to the above specimen. Fuse Tails have caudal. Triple Tails are very rare. This fish almost has perfect.Types of Bettas. patterns and genetics. size and shape and has additional rays. approx. tailss. except that the fins were outlined in royal blue.com/types.

html (15 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM .tripod. patterns and genetics. an enhanced form of the Delt tail. with wide spread but less than 180o. Dorsal and anal fins are also enhanced with this trait. I have no definite information regarding the allele(s) for this trait. by colour. with multiple branching of the rays of the fins.Types of Bettas. recessive: Greek D shaped tail. held well. straight edges to tail fin desired in this trait. tailss. possibly a multiple factor inheritance. to give a A turquoise HM males: the tail spread is http://watershed3.com/types. Delta Tail One of improved delta tails Delta Tail hm half moon recessive: Possibly a multiple factor inheritance is expressed in this type: tail shaped like a capital D.

recessive caudal fins have long. patterns and genetics. with http://watershed3. tailss. <180o. by colour.tripod. in this photograph. other fins have long extensions. semi-circular outline with caudal fin spread of 180o. crown tails..html (16 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . Many socalled HalfMoons (HMs) do not have the full 180o spread and are sometimes known as "Super Delta" Tails.Types of Bettas. One of Sherri Kish's HM Bettas. extending ray. double ray extensions like an improved comb-tailed Betta. recessive p comb tail fin rays extend beyond the fin webbing: this is usually a single.com/types. a new trait There is considerable variation in this trait.

triple ray and quadruple ray (doubledoubles!) extentions. by colour. heart tails. tailss. double rays. This type is becoming very popular One of Indra's Java Crown Tails flaring. "clown tails" The name "clown tails" is a corruption or 'crown' tails. triple tails. and pla kat tail forms.com/types. http://watershed3. long. extended. Crown tails are also crossed with other tail forms such as short. fuse tails. Other tails types include spade tails.html (17 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . patterns and genetics. A new type originating in Asia in the 1990s. double and delta-tailed forms to give considerable variation. reflecting the attitudes and experience of some growers who have experienced variable (and perhaps disappointing) results in the breeding of this trait. Note the long. I have no information regarding the allele for these traits. double ray.Types of Bettas. Note the double-ray extentions in the caudal fin.tripod.

com/types.Types of Bettas.tripod. Maintenance for Bettas More information about breeding Bettas Diseases in Bettas Back to Top of page Return to Previous Page Colours Patterns Tail Types Genotypes Top of Page Return to Previous Page http://watershed3.html (18 of 18)3/9/2011 11:04:44 AM . patterns and genetics. by colour. tailss.

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