Betta siamorientalis

24. August 2009

(formerly: Betta cf. imbellis „Vietnam Black“).

We import from Vietnam a pretty wild collected Betta for some time now. The exact determination of that species proofed to be quite complicated. There are four scientifically described species from this complex: Betta imbellis, B. smaragdina, B. splendens, and B. stiktos. An additional species is already known in the hobby as B. sp. „Mahachai“, which looks very similar to B. smaragdina.

Betta splendens is one of the most enigmatic specie of fish at all. Back in 1910 the scietific decrition based already on domesticated animals. This is comparable as if the species „wolf“ would have been described on the basis of a Yorkshire terrier and one would now try to reconstruct the appearance of the wolf on the basis of the scientific description. So nobody on earth really knows what exactly B. splendens is. Pragmatically speaking both species are distinguished from each other in the hobyy by the coloration of the operculum in males. Males of B. splendes develope two bright red stripes on the operculum, whereas B. imbellis males have shining spots on the operculum.

Our Vietnamese fish were initially termed Betta imbellis on the basis of this. Some time later the scientific description of B. stiktos was published. Checking our fish again, we found that they had the species-specific spots described for B. stiktos. However, after all experience, we know that preserved material does not allow to distinguish species reliably in Betta. Nevertheless we decided to rename our fish to Betta cf. stiktos. Some time later, aquarists made a trip to the type locatlity of B. stiktos and were able to collect the species alive. Now it became clear that our fish had nothing to do with it, as B. stiktos looks almost identical to B. smaragdina.

The Vietnamese fish is distinguoished from most other varieties of Betta imbellis by the lack of green or blue shing spots on the flanks. Thus displaying males look deep black. We now have renamed them to B. cf.imbellis to make clear that they are not identical to the fishes often imported from the malayian region.

What name applied to the fish in the future will be the correct one cannot be predicted, but one thing is for sure: B. cf. imbellis are beautiful fish which fit deally in any well planted community tank with peaceful tankmates. Like in B. imbellis and B. smaragdina keeping more than one male per tank is possible.

Additional note: the species has been described scientifically in 2013 under the name of Betta siamorientalis.

For our customers: The fish have code 391023 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply to the wholesale trade only.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Angaben zum Tier
Herkunft Vietnam
Verfügbare Größe in cm 3-4