There are many different breeds, tail types and patterns of Bettas. I don’t think you can actually list them all, but I’m going to try to do as many as I can.
THE VEIL TAIL (VT)
The Veil tail is the most common breed of Bettas. Their tails arch up, then float down, appearing to look a a veil; this is how they received the name ‘Veil Tail’. Veil Tails are easily found in pretty much any fish shop.
THE CROWNTAIL (CT)
Crowntails received their name from their spiky tail and fins. They are very unique and popular. Crowntails can also be found in a lot of fish stores, but definitely not as often as Veil Tails.
THE HALFMOON (HM)
Halfmoons are also very popular. They obtained their name from their beautiful caudal tail, which is the shape of a halfmoon and spreads at a 180 degree angle.
Thank you to Matt Thomas for this picture.
THE DELTA TAIL (No Abbreviation)
A Delta tail is the right name for any single tailed non-Halfmoon Betta. A non-Halfmoon is when the tail has straight caudal edges just like a Halfmoon, but they don’t reach 180 degrees.
THE SUPER DELTA (SD)
The Super Delta is similar to a Delta Tail, but an improved version of branching. It’s amazing caudal fin extends between 120-160 Degrees.
THE DOUBLE TAIL (DT)
The double tail Betta, as you can tell by its name has its caudal tail split in two equal lobes rather than one. They have two caudal peduncles.
While flaring, their tail almost makes a full circle. They have shorter bodies than other tail types, leaving them more prone to Swim Bladder problems (read BETTA DISEASES). Double tail bettas are often crossed into other strains, as they have lovely broad dorsals.
Thank you for this photo, Matt Thomas.
THE SPADE TAIL (no abbreviation)
Spade tail Betta’s aren’t common, and you don’t really see them anymore. Their caudal tail has a wide base, that narrows to a small point, just like a spade.
THE ROUND TAIL OR FAN TAIL (no abbreviation)
The Round Tail Betta’s are single tailed Betta’s with round edges. They are often confused with Halfmoons, but halfmoons should have a ‘D’ shaped caudal, with sharp edges, while the round tail have rounded edges.
THE ROSE TAIL (RT)
The Rose Tail Betta was developed by trying to breed the perfect Halfmoon. It’s fins, especially the caudal have excessive branching and overlapping which gives the appearance of a rose.
THE FEATHER TAIL (no abbreviation)
The feather tail Betta is very similar to the rose tail, but tends to have a more ruffled appearance.
Photo used with permission. Ebetta.com
THE PLAKAT (PK)
The Plakat is a short-finned version of the common Betta. They are usually more active then long-finned Betta’s, properly because they don’t have the long elaborate fins to slow them down. Also, they are known to have more resistance to disease, which makes them favorable to many Betta owners.
THE COMB TAIL OR HALF SUN (cT)
Comb tail or Half Sun Betta’s are usually produced with crossing a Veil Tail and a Crowntail. They are not as spiky as the Crowntail, but do have a slight pointed appearance.
THE GIANT BETTA
Even though the giant Betta isn’t a tail type, I thought I’ll add it in anyway. As you can tell from its name, the Giant Betta really is a giant sized Betta. They were first bred in 1999, where a very large Betta was found. Finding another large Betta, they were bred together, and then the production of those Bettas were bred again, and again until a line of Giant Betta’s were created. Giant Betta’s today can come in any of the above tail types, and are just the same as normal Bettas, just a great deal larger. Halfmoon giant bettas are less common than plakat giants, as halfmoon giant bettas often have trouble holding up the huge amount of finnage.
This is a photo of my half-giant male (yes they get bigger than that!) against a standard sized male.
Tail Patterns and colours –
Solid colours are properly the most common Betta colour, and as you most likely guessed from the name, they have one single colour from the tip of their head right down to their fins. There is many solid colours available. Such as:
Red is the most common along with blue, and is a very dominant colour when breeding.
This boy is extended red. Extended red is an intense version of red, that covers the betta from head to tail, included pectoral fins (fins on the side of their body).
Along with red, blue is the most common Betta colour. It is also a very dominant colour when breeding. There are three different shades of blue –
Some Royal Blues seem to have a purplish tint to them.
Thank you for this photo, Matt Thomas.
Photo used with permission, ebetta.com
The Betta colour cellophane basically has no colour. The body is a fleshy colour, and their fins are transparent.
Photo used with permission.
Most white opaques tend to have impurities such as black outlining, or red wash. The true white opaque is very hard to produce.
Minus the red.
Copper Betta’s can come in a light gold, a deep copper, a red-copper and some are even a bit purplish. Their colours truly shine in bright light or sunshine.
Red Copper Halfmoon fry I bred.
Black Betta’s, like the copper, come in a few different shades. There are three different shades of black: melano, black lace, and super black. Sadly, melano black females are infertile – they produce eggs, but due to the way the melanin protein clump together, it is fatal to the embryo, and the eggs fail to hatch.
Black Laced PK.
Melano Betta. Photo permission from Ebetta.com.
Super Black Betta by Matt Thomas. Thank you for the photo.
Bi-colour Betta’s have two different solid colours. Their body will be one colour, and their fins will be another colour. Now, I can’t cover every one, because well, their is as many as every combination of all the solid colours imaginable.
Cambodian Betta’s come in three different shades: Red, blue and green. Cambodians have a fleshy colour body and either a blue, red or green fins.
Chocolate Betta’s bodies are usually dark brown or black; but are sometimes dark blue or green! They have gold or yellow-orange fins.
Thank you, Matt Thomas for this photo.
Butterfly Bettas have a solid coloured body, and their fins are divided into two separate colours, which are ideally symmetrical. They can come in any colour combination. Butterfly is a marble trait.
Marble Betta’s are now becoming more, and more common. They usually have a colouring of blue or red with a pale base. A marble Betta has uneven patterns all over their body. They can be one colour one week, another the next week. As they age, they tend to slow down colour changing.
This photo was taken when I first got Apache.
This photo was taken of Apache about 2wks later.
Piebald Betta’s have a fleshy coloured face no matter what their body colour is. The Piebald’s body is usually fairly solid, but can have any pattern, such as a butterfly or marble.
Grizzle Betta’s are uncommon, and have either a pastel or opaque body with random flecks and spots of iridescent colouring. Each fin will also have grizzle patterning. The body and fins should have exactly two different iridescent colour. Grizzle Betta’s which show 50% iridescence and 50% pastel or opaque body is preferred.
When a Betta has black etching on it’s scales, it’s called pineapple.
Betta’s that are said to have masks, are referred to having their face the same colour as their body; where most Betta’s face’s are a darker shade than their body.
Thanks to Matt Thomas for this photo.
A newish pattern that is becoming increasingly popular. Dragon Betta’s usually have a bright, strong base, such as red, with their scales highlighted in a pale iridescent colour. Their scales seem to resemble that of a lizard – or dragon.
See how these dragon Betta’s scales are highlighted?
Orange dalmatian Betta’s are not really common. They have a pale orange body with darker orange spots of different sizes all patched around there body. Also known as Apricot Spots.
Thankyou, Betty Splendens for photo permission.
A mustard gas Betta is a Betta with either a green or blue body with yellow or orange fins. They are a popular bi-colour pattern. They can be similar to chocolate Betta’s.
Multicolour Betta’s do not fit into any of the above listed colours/patterns. They have at least three different colours in them that don’t have any sort of order. Muticolours are sometimes referred to as ‘mutts’, and can easily be found in many pet stores.
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa.
I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses.
I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time.
Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone