Types of Bettas

Below you will find a list of betta species and their groups. Click on the links within each group and sub-group to learn more about each type.

Generally, betta fish fall into two categories: the bubblensters and the mouthbrooders.

Bubblenesting Bettas

Habitat: They live in stagnant waters such as ponds, ditches, lakes, overflow pools and river backwaters.

Behavior: Males create bubblenests to support eggs. The female can produce up to 500 eggs in one spawning, depending on the species.

Size: 1.5 inches to 3 inches in length

Life Span: 2-3 years on average

Water: Distinct groups require different conditions. Members of the splendens group thrive in neutral water with moderate calcium-magnesium hardness, whereas members of the coccina and waseri groups prefer soft, acidic water conditions.

Water Temperature: While spawning, the temperature should remain at 80 degrees Fahrenheit and should be checked frequently to sustain that temperature.


The splendens group is native to Thailand, Malay Peninsula and parts of Molluca, Sumatra and Borneo. Although Borneo is not a natural occurrence, it was introduced to this country through human intervention.For further, specific information, see the following pages:

Betta Splendens
Betta sp. Mahachai
Betta Imbellis
Betta Smaragdina


A larger variety of Betta fish, they grow to nearly 5 inches in length. The two varieties are B. simorum and Betta bellica. They are generally native to the Malay Peninsula and Melaka Strait.

Betta Bellica
Betta Simorum


These fish are a group of small and slender Betta species, which originated in the southern Malay Peninsula to Sumatra and northern Borneo. This group consists of B. coccina, B. livida, B. brownorum, B. rutilans, B. Persephone, B. miniopinna, B. tussyae and B. burdigala.

Betta Coccina
Betta Livida
Betta Brownorum
Betta Rutilans
Betta Persephone
Betta Miniopinna
Betta Tussyae
Betta Burdigala


Habitat: They live in flowing streams in hilly areas or lowland swamps. Some enjoy limestone-rich regions.

Behavior: Adapting to flowing water, males developed a “bubble cavity” (throat), which holds the fry in a “nest” until they are developed and large enough to withstand the pressure of the moving water.

Size: 1.5 inches to 5 inches in length

Life Span: 2-3 years on average

Water: Mouthbrooders prefer covered tanks with a fairly neutral pH of 6.5-7.5. They also enjoy relatively hard water and thrive with many live, rooted and surface plants in the aquarium.

Water Temperature: While spawning, the temperature should remain between 68-74 degrees Fahrenheit with a submersible heater.


The Picta group features caudal and anal fins that have dark margins and a gill cover that is iridescent. The species has 21-26 anal fin rays, 27-30 lateral scales, 27-29 vertebrae and 5-6 dorsal scales. This group includes B. picta, B. taeniata, B. falx, B. simplex, B. edithae and B. prima who are all characterized as mouthbrooders who display these traits.

Betta Picta
Betta Taeniata
Betta Falx
Betta Simplex
Betta Edithae
Betta Prima


Mostly indigenous to the flowing waters of Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Indo-China and Borneo, this group of fish has a rather large head and most times is greenish-blue. It includes the species: B. pugnax, B. pulchra, B. schalleri, B. breviobesus, B. enisae, B. fusca and B. lehi.

Betta Pugnax
Betta Pulchra
Betta Schalleri
Betta Breviobesus
Betta Enisae
Betta Fusca
Betta Lehi


Group The Betta Waseri Group naturally inhabits southern Thailand, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo and consists of: B. waseri, B. tomi, B. spilotogena, B. pi, B. renata, B. hipposideros, B. anabatoides, and B. chloropharynx. They have been nicknamed the Big Yellow Mouthbrooders. They are about 2.5 inches in length, although some are less or a bit more. Each group is known for its distinctive black markings.

Betta Waseri
Betta Tomi
Betta Spilotegena
Betta Pi
Betta Renata
Betta Hipposideros
Betta Anabatoides
Betta Chloropharynx


Restricted to the country of Borneo, the Akarensis Group includes: B. akarensis, B. balunga, B. chini, B. pinguis and possibly two other species not yet named.

Betta Akarensis
Betta Balunga
Betta Chini
Betta Pinguis


The Betta foerschi group are a beautiful species, which consists of: B. foerschi, B. strohi, B. rubra and a currently unnamed class.

Betta Foerschi
Betta Rubra


Probably the most beautiful of the mouthbrooders, the Albimarginata group consists of B. albimarginata and B. channoides. They differ from other Betta fish in that their anal fin has more spines (9-12) than the normal 0-4. They also have fewer rays (11-13) than the normal 18-32. The identification process for this group is still in process; therefore, there might be four or more species added in time.

Betta Albimarginata
Betta Channoides


A rather plain species of Betta fish, the group includes: B. patoti, B. unimaculata, B. ocellata, B. macrostoma and two to four species, which are currently unnamed.

Betta Patoti
Betta Unimaculata
Betta Ocellata
Betta Macrostoma
“Other” Patoti Populations