There are numerous types of betta fish and the number keeps growing over time. Below is a list with information about how to identify them, as well as a photo of each one.
Betta fish (also known as Siamese Fighting or Siamese Fish) are very popular and have been carefully bred over many decades to produce a variety of different types.
They all technically belong to the same species but there is an amazing variety in their appearances.
There are so many different types of fins, patterns and colors that can be found that two different bettas might not look the same to someone outside.
Types of Betta Fish
Even for experienced betta fish keepers the sheer number of variants can be confusing.
We’ll be describing all the betta types in this guide to help you understand.
There are always new types of Bettas, so it is possible to encounter an oddball that doesn’t fit into the standard categories. We will still cover the majority of them, with illustrations for illustration.
What are the Different Types of Betta Fish?
This is not an easy question to answer as there is much disagreement about what type of dog is true. Every year, more dogs are selectively bred and ‘created.
Aqueon.com is the most reliable source that I found. It states that there are 73 recognized types. I’m sure there will be a few breeders trying to get a new type recognized before my ink dries.
Types of Betta Fish-By Tail Type
The differences in the tail and fin types of the different betta fish species are quite striking. There are many types of betta fish. They come in a variety of lengths and styles. Some have long flowing tails that look amazing, while others have short, striking fan-shaped tails.
Let’s look at the most common betta fish tails you’ll see on readily available varieties.
The veiltail Betta (or VT) is the most common type of tail you will find in an aquarioum. It is also what you will see on most pet shop varieties.
Due to their popularity and overbreeding, veil-tailed bettas have been deemed unattractive and not accepted by the show circuit.
This fish is still beautiful and attractive. It has a flowing tail and tends to droop at the caudal pedicle. Both the anal and dorsal fins have a long, flowing shape.
Veil tails are asymmetrical, meaning that if you cut the tail horizontally in half the upper and lower sections will not match.
Nearly all specimens have a tail that droops or hangs constantly, even when flaring. This likely contributes to their being viewed as inferior to other tail types.
Although the comb tail doesn’t have a specific shape, it is a characteristic that can be found on other tail shapes. The comb tail is usually composed of a fan-shaped caudal fin that has a large spread. However, it’s normally less than 180 degrees at which point it would be considered more like a ‘half moon’.
The fins of a combtail betta will have rays that extend beyond their fin webbing. This gives it a slightly spiky appearance. It is said to look like an comb but not as dramatic as the crown tail.
Although it is not recommended, the tail may have the same droop as the veil tail.
Crown Tail (CT).
According to ‘bettySpelendens.com (link removed because the site has, sadly gone offline recently):
“The Crowntail Betta was established 1997 in West Jakarta, Slipi (Indonesia). The webbing that connects the fin rays to the body is reduced, giving rise to prongs or spikes. This is why the name “Crown Tail” was given.
The crowntail betta (abbreviated as CT) is one of the most easily recognized tail types. Their reduced webbing and extended rays give them an extremely distinctive, spiky appearance.
You can have ray extensions that are double, triple or even quadruple. Crowntail Bettas can spread to 180 degrees, although less is acceptable.
When describing these fish, the term “crowntail” is often abbreviated as “CT”.
Super Delta (SD), & Delta (D).
The Delta tail betta fish is named so because it resembles the Greek letter D, but is shaped on the side and more round at the ends.
A super delta betta fish is different from a standard Delta fish in that it has a tail that extends to 180 degrees (180-degree would be half of the moon) whereas a plain delta tail spreads much less.
The difference between super delta and delta tails is how evenly it should be spread. If you draw a horizontal line across the middle of a super or delta’s body, it will be symmetrical. There would also be equal amounts of tail above and beneath the line.
The tail should not be ‘combin’ or ‘crowned’ by the rays. It should have the webbing at the ends of its tail so it does not look’spiky’.
When discussing Delta’s, Super Delta’s will be abbreviated as ‘D’ while they are being discussed.
Double Tail (DT).
Double tail betta (also known as the DT) is exactly as it sounds: It has a dual caudal fin.
It is important to note that this is not a split caudal fin, but a double tail with two caudal poduncles.
Double tails may not have the same size caudal fins as their counterparts, but a more even split is highly desirable. They have smaller bodies and have broader anal and dorsal fins. These usually mirror each other less or more closely.
Half Moon (HM), / Over Half Moon, (OHM).
A half-moon betta fish’s caudal finIt has a distinctive full 180-degree spread, similar to a capital D or, more appropriately, a half Moon.
Halfmoon betta also has anal and dorsal fins that are larger than the average.
They are beautiful and highly sought-after, but it is worth noting that a large tail can cause tail damage and tearing, which is often called “blowing a Tail”.
In descriptions, half moons are abbreviated as HM.
The half-moon is overIt is basically an extreme form of the half moon. It’s the same tail except for one: when flared, the spread is greater than 180 degrees.
Image courtesy Daniella Vereeken, Flickr (CC-BY 2.0).
By selectively breeding half moon and crown tail varieties together, the half sun tail was created.
This type has the same 180-degree spread as the half moon but has rays that extend beyond the webbing at the caudal fin.
The rays are not extended enough to confuse with a crown tail, but they are still visible.
Plakat betta (or PK, for short) is a short-tailed variety that is closer to the wild betta splendens than any other varieties.
Sometimes they are mistaken for females because they have shorter tails. However, males have longer ventral fins and more rounded caudal Fins.
Traditional plakats have a short, rounded or slightly pointed tip. Due to selective breeding, there are two types of plakat: the crown tail plakat and half moon plakat.
Half moon varieties have a shorter tail, but a 180-degree spread just like traditional half moons. The crown tail style has extended rays, reduced webbing, and is similar to a regular crowntail. However, this is with a shorter tail that is typical of a plakat rather than a longer one.
Rosetail and Feathertail
Rosetails are similar to HMs or extreme half moons. The spread of the caudal Fin is 180 degrees or greater. The only difference is that the rays are more branchy, giving the tail a more ruffled appearance, similar to rose petals.
A feather tail is one that has more branching than normal, even for rosetails. It can give a more pronounced or ‘extremely ruffled effect’ with a slight zigzag look.
Although the round tail looks similar to a Delta, it is completely rounded and has no straight edges. This makes most tails look like a D.
It is also very similar to a basic platkat but it is much longer and more full than the plakat’s typical short tail.
Although the spade tail betta looks very similar to a round one, the tip of its caudal fin is not rounded. Instead, it reaches a single point like a spade in a deck.
Spreading a spade tail should be equal on both ends.
BettySplendens.com speculates (again, link removed as site has unfortunately gone offline).
It is safe to say that most “spadetails” are just a variation on the Veiltail and can be seen quite often on juvenile VTs and females whose finnage still hasn’t reached its full weight and length.
This is a fascinating observation!
You may also be interested:
- Betta Fish Care – An easy-to-follow, comprehensive guide.
Types of Betta Fish–By Pattern
The patterning of their fins and bodies is another important aspect in determining the type of betta.
While some types may look more plain than others, some are stunningly beautiful. Some patterns are more rare and therefore more desirable.
Let’s stop talking and let’s look at the most commonly accepted patterns.
A bi-colored Betta fish will have one body and two fins.
It generally works in one or both of these ways:
- A ‘light bicolored Betta’ Should have a light-colored body. Although light-colored fins are acceptable (though they are not required), dark contrasting colors are preferred.
- A ‘dark bicolored Betta’ Must have a solidly colored, in any of the six accepted solid colors. You can have translucent fins or brightly colored fins. A contrasting color is preferred.
The light and dark bicolor fishes should have only two colors. Any other markings would be disqualifying if the fish is being judged.
A butterfly pattern is when a single color extends to the base of the fins. The color stops at a distinct line, and the rest are translucent or pale.
The fins are basically two-tone. It’s almost like the fins have a second color on the outer fins that circles the solid-colored betta.
The ideal color split in fins would be halfway. They are therefore a 50/50 split. This is not possible and a 20% tolerance is allowed for either side.
Although it is a variation of the bi-colored Cambodian pattern, it is distinctive enough to be named.
This pattern features a pale body, usually flesh-colored white or light pink, and bright solid red fins. However, other colors can occur, but still with the same solid flesh-colored body.
‘TradPK Green Red Dragon M’, Daniella Vereeken via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).
The striking and almost metallic appearance of the dragon pattern is relatively recent.
The base color of the fish is often bright and rich, and the scales are opaque white, thick metallic and iridescent. This makes the body appear as though it’s covered in armored dragon scales.
In the betta community, the term “dragon” is frequently misused to mean any fish with thick scaling covering their body and faces. True dragons aren’t just thick-skinned fish.
They also have opaque, white, metallic, and diverse finnage. He may also be classified as a “metallic betta” if he doesn’t have any of these characteristics.
Not all metallic-looking betta are actually dragons. The name is sometimes incorrectly applied to fish that are not within the correct description.
Marble betta fish are known for their irregular patterns, which can be seen all over their bodies.
The base color of the fish is usually pale, and the patterns are in a bold, consistent color such as red or bleu.
All marble types should have marbling on the body but not necessarily on their fins. Some marble types have transparent fins while others have marbling-covered fins. Both are acceptable.
Marble bettas are unique in that their patterns can change throughout the course of their lives.
The mask pattern is important because the faces of betta fish are naturally darker that their main body.
The mask variety makes their faces exactly the same shade and color as their body, so they are uniformly one color from head to tail.
It is most commonly seen in blue, copper, and turquoise colors, but it can also be found in other colors.
Multicolored patterns can be used to describe any betta with three or more colors and does not fit into any other type of pattern.
This applies to an amazing number of variations. I don’t have enough to list them all here but you should get the idea from the description.
A piebald Betta is one that has a pinkish or white flesh-colored face and a completely different body.
A piebald fish’s body is typically a dark, solid color. However, it can sometimes have a slight marbling or butterfly-like patterning on its fins.
Solid betta fish sounds exactly like it does. A fish that has one solid color throughout its body is called a solid betta fish.
This pattern is more common in red people, but it can also be seen elsewhere.
As the name implies, the wild-type pattern type is the closest to betta splendens found in the wild.
The main color of most of their bodies is a dull red or brown.
There will be some blue or green iridescent scales on fish and some red fins for males.
Types of Betta Fish-By Color
Although you might think that you are familiar with all aspects of color, it is not enough to know the basics.
Continue reading to find out about the most common colors as well as the exotic ones that are available.
What is the most popular Betta color?
The albino Betta is the rarest of colors.
The albino Betta is prone to health issues and complications. It’s very difficult to breed them.
The purple betta is another rare type, although true chocolates or orange specimens are not easy to find.
Let’s take a closer look at the various colors available.
There are three types of black Betta.
- Melano (plain-black and infertile).
- Black lace (which is fertile)
- Where the fish is metallic (or copper), black, there are also some iridescent scales.
Melano is the most well-known and deepest of the three. It’s where a mutation has occurred to dramatically increase the amount black pigment in the skin. Infertile Melano females can only be bred with melano gene-carrying females from other types because they are infertile.
Although the black lacebetta is not as deep as melano, it is a lovely deep color. This variety, unlike melano females, isn’t infertile. It is therefore easier to breed and more readily available.
Blue / Steel Blue/ Royal Blue
Betta fish can come in many shades of blue.
True blue is commonly referred to as a “blue washe” color. However, you can also find colder and grayish steel blues. The ‘Royal Blue Betta,’ which has iridescent bright-blue coloring, is undoubtedly the most vibrant and richest.
Clear / Cellophane
Cellophane bettas have translucent skin (hence the name “cellophane”) that is free of pigments. The inside flesh of the fish shines through translucent skin, giving it a pinkish-ish, fleshy appearance. The tail and fins are also translucent.
This species is often mistaken for albino betta. However, it can be distinguished by its black cellophanes eyes. Albinos have pink eyes as do almost all albino animals.
Although the ‘chocolate Betta’ is not an official type, it is a common term that is accepted by many.
Commonly, the ‘chocolate” naming refers to a brown-bodied betta with yellow or orange fins. This is a specific bicolor.
There are many types of chocolate, some with dark brown bodies and others with dark green or black bodies. The proper term would be’mustardgas’.
HMPK Black Copper by Daniella Vereeken, Flickr (CC-BY 2.0).
Copper betta fish are extremely iridescent. They come in a light or dark copper color, with red, blue, and purple metallic shines.
They might look brown or silver under weak light but can shine brilliantly in stronger lighting.
‘HMPK Green Masque’ by Daniella Vereeken, Flickr (CC-BY 2.0).
The true color of betta is rare to see. Therefore, what is commonly called green is likely to be a turquoise. If held up to a torchlight, the iridescent green will shine through and make it difficult to see green in bettas.
You can still see some greens with your naked eye. Dark green is the most sought-after and prized variety.
‘Fighting fish 1’ by Alan L at Flickr (CC-BY 2.0).
Another form of bicolored variety is the mustard gas bettas. They are worthy of their own name.
This color is for any specimen that has a dark-colored body, such as blue, steel, or green, and yellow or orange fins.
It is incorrectly called a “chocolate” when the mustard gas should be applied to brown-colored bodies only.
Opaque / Pastels
Opaque doesn’t actually exist as a single color, but it is caused by a gene which overlays a milky-white color on top. There are also opaque versions of the main colors.
Some colors give them a pastel hue. These opaque bettas can be called “pastels” and are considered to be a kind of their own.
Although orange bettas can be quite rare, they can often be found in rich tangerine shades.
They can look very red in poor lighting. You need full spectrum lighting with decent strength to bring out their best colors.
Creative Commons: ‘Betta Splenden-Orange Dalmation’
This color is also known as ‘apricot spots,’ or ‘Orange-spotted betta.
The orange dalmatian bettafish is pale in color on the body and fins. However, there are brighter, deeper-colored orange spots and /or streaks all over their fins.
Purple / Violet
Although it is rare to find a purple betta fish, you will often find purplish-blues and violets with copper iridescence.
There are solid purple specimens, some with all purple fins, and some purple-bodied individuals with secondary colors that have been discovered under many creative names.
(Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any copyright-free images of any bicolor purple Bettas. However, a quick google search will reveal them.
Red is the dominant color of betta fish. It’s very common to see it, but it’s still strikingly beautiful.
You will generally get a bright, all-over red. However, it can also find its way into other colors as “red washes”, which is usually undesirable.
This color is not easy to identify.
It is a blue-green color that lies somewhere between blue, green, and can look kind of plain or plain in certain lighting conditions.
It’s best to see if the fish is a turquoise. Next, shine some light on it. If it’s a tiger fish, there should not be any yellow hues. It’s more likely that it is green if there are.
While the term wild-type can be used to refer to a pattern in some bettas, it can also be used to refer to a color.
Wild type bettas have a bluish or iridescent body and fins.
Yellow & Pineapple
The yellow betta fish is commonly called ‘nonred’. They can range from extremely pale yellow to rich, buttery hues.
Pineapple is a yellow form where the scales are darker. This gives the fish a look similar to that of a pineapple’s scales.
Most people are familiar with albinism in other species. The same applies to bettas.
Albino betta fish are solid white without any pigmentation, and have eyes that look pink or red. A white fish with black eyes is not an albino, but a white type.
Albinos are very rare and often go blind at an early age. Albinos are extremely rare and difficult to breed, which means they will continue to be scarce.
We are unable to locate animage we’re capable of using in this article due to their rarity.
After reading this article, you will probably realize that there are more variations in betta fishes than most people realize.
These fish are very popular and have been bred for many years to produce a wide range of exciting new varieties.
A serious betta fish keeper will want to stay on top of the latest developments in the area.