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Genetics in colors and patterns is usually the first thing noticed or asked about. I have taken information I have read (Bill Hoerner's 'Bettas : A Beginner's Guide) and learned throughout experience to make this chart. I have included a picture of every color that I had a picture for. All bettas are owned by me unless otherwise noted.

Click on images for full size and more info on some colors/patterns.

Legend:
    Type 1 - Genes that express a dominant or a recessive relationship when paired. The effect of the dominant gene is observable in color and fins. The recessive gene is normally not observed unless it is paired with a similar recessive gene.
    Type 2 - Genes that interfere with each other when paired. An example is the pairing of Green & Steel Blue to produce blue.
    Abbreviations for that gene follow it's type in the parenthesis.
Layer Mutations/Type/Symbol Descriptions
Yellow No known mutations This is the innermost layer. This is nearly always covered by other layers and is very pale with no observable color. This is not to be confused with the Non-Red yellows.
Red

Prevalent in the anal, ventral and caudal fins. Unless the fish is completely red, this is considered a major fault.
--------> Extended Red 
(Type 1
-Er)
More intense red that spreads across the body as well as the fins in equal density. Dominant over normal red.
--------> Non-Red 
(Type 1-nr)

Red is replaced by yellow. Recessive to both Normal Red and Extended Red
--------> Orange 
(Type 1-nr2)

This is fairly new, and rare color. Gilbert Limhengco is the most well known for working on this strain. Details for this gene are still unknown for the most part. This has become a fast favorite and many breeders are working with this line now.
--------> Red Loss 
(Type 1-L)
Initial red disappears partially or completely as the fish matures. Common in some marbles. Dominant over Normal Red.
--------> Variegated Fins
Butterfly Pattern 
(Type 1-vf)
Clear to white areas occur in fins where color is usually predominant. Dominant over Non-Butterfly, but variably expressible. Many people now believe it is related to the marble gene. Many marble spawns produce fish that have butterfly patterns and streaked fins.
Black
--------> Melano 
(Type 1-m)
Black is very intense, dark and extensive. Melano females are incapable of producing viable offspring, in most cases. Recessive to Normal Black
--------> Blond 
(Type 1-b)
The density of the black is greatly reduced. Recessive to Normal Black. Not to be confused with yellow (Non-Red) bettas. This gene is also found in Extended Reds to eliminate the black pigment on their bodies without making them Cambodian.
--------> Cambodian 
(Type 1-c)

Black is eliminated from the body, but continues to some extent in the fins. Recessive to Normal Black
--------> Marble 
(Type 1-mb)
Black is of varying density which can change over time. Marbled bettas can change throughout their whole life. Dominance and recessive have not been completely determined. It is an interesting and fun gene. Produces fertile black females but is less dense than the melanos.
--------> Piebald 
(Type 1-)
Black is lacking in the head area causing a flesh colored face. Very popular and striking. It is no longer considered a marble on it's own. A simple Piebald can no longer be entered as a marble in the IBC Shows.
--------> Black Lace 
(Type 1-)
Black is prevalent throughout, but weakest in the abdominal area and caudal fin. Produces fertile black females but is less dense than the melanos.
Green B1B1 - Green (Turquoise) Prevalent in the body area posterior to the head and the bases of fins. True grass greens are hard to come by. They are preferred over turquoise in shows.
B1b1 - Royal Blue
--------> Spread Iridocytes
(Type 1 & 2*-Si)

Allows iridocytes to be present in a denser amount over the body, whether they are green, steel, or royal.
*Interferes with Steel Blue, but functions as a Type 1 in being dominant over Normal Green.
--------> Steel Blue 
(Type 2 - b1b1)
Green is replaced by Steel Blue. Iridescence is the same intensity as in the replaced green.
--------> Opaque 
(Type 2 - Op)
An iridescent, milky color replaced or combines with Steel Blue. Effects are variable.

Click here for the IBC Show Classes

Variations and the names we call them.

--------> Purple/Yellows

Very beautiful, rare and hard to come by right now. You can find them in various name: Sages, Purple Pineapple Twists, Purple Pizzazz, Purple Gas etc. The 'yellow' in these bettas may or may not be the 'nr' yellow. It may be a variation of orange in some cases.
--------> Green or Blue/Yellows Many variation of this line which means you will find them under many various names: Pharaohs, Blue Angels, Emerald Dreams, Mustard Gas, Salamanders, Blueberry pies etc. The 'yellow' in these bettas may or may not be the 'nr' yellow. It may be a variation of orange in some cases.
--------> Yellow/White BF These are actually vary hard to find but they are so very beautiful. Most everyone calls them Lemon Meringue.
--------> Brown/Yellow Bi-colors Most everyone calls these Chocolates. I have some chocolate versions in my Pharaoh line. It is desired to have no iridescence at all.
--------> Yellow Spotted Melano These are Black melanos with variegated areas of yellow or orange. I call them Bumblebees.

Breeder's Corner

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Last update:
  March 23, 2009 10:27 PM CST

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