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BETTAS by Jim Sonnier


This one-of-a-kind Betta shows a Blue body and Green fins. My theory is that the genes for iridescent coloring on the body and on the fins are located on the same chromosome. These genes are so close together that they are rarely transferred by crossing over. Thus the incidence of this type of Betta, with one iridescent color on the body and another on the fins, is close to zero.


In wild type Bettas Iridescent color (Blues and Green) is the densest layer that can cover all other colors. The normal distribution of Iridescent color is limited to ray-like projections into the fins and several rows of Iridescent dots along the body of the fish. The color density is usually very heavy in those areas. The normal Iridescent color on wild Bettas is Green.

Green female

GREEN BETTAS are also called Turquoise because the color usually has a Blue tint. The mutated gene has been named spread Iridescence because the normal Green pigment has been increased in density and extended in distribution to cover the entire body and fins of the fish. This mutant gene causes the Betta to appear solid Green in color except for the head area. The mutation for spread Iridescence is dominant to the normal Iridescent gene. Some representative spawning results are presented below...

Spawnings for the spread Iridescent gene
male parent female parent offspring
spread Iridescence normal Iridescence 100% spread Iridescence
spread Iridescence spread Iridescence 100% spread Iridescence


gorgeous Steel Blue Half Moon male (fish and photo by Wasan Sattayapun)

STEEL BLUE BETTAS are produced by a color mutation gene. The normal Green color is altered and appears as a Steel Blue color instead of Green. This color mutant affects both the normal Iridescent distribution and the spread Iridescent distribution. This means you can have solid Steel Blue Bettas if you combine this color mutation with the spread Iridescence mutation. Neither the normal Green gene nor the mutated Steel Blue gene is dominant over the other. These genes interact to produce a blending of the two colors into a new color. This prime example of intermediate dominance produces Blue (also called Royal Blue) coloration. Simply put, this means that a Green Betta possesses two normal Green genes, a Steel Blue Betta possesses two mutated Steel Blue genes, and a Blue Betta posses one normal Green gene and one mutated Steel Blue gene.


intense Royal Blue coloration on this female

BLUE BETTAS are also called Royal Blue Bettas. As stated above these fish have one normal Green gene and one mutated Steel Blue gene which combine to produce an intermediate Blue color. Many feel that this is the most beautiful Iridescent color. Some find it difficult to comprehend that a spawning between a Green and a Steel Blue will produce only Blue offspring, but it is true. Some representative spawning results for the three Iridescent colors are presented below...

Spawnings for the Iridescent colors
male parent female parent offspring
Green Green 100% Green
Green Blue 50% Green, 50% Blue
Steel Blue Steel Blue 100% Steel Blue
Steel Blue Blue 50% Steel Blue, 50% Blue
Steel Blue Green 100% Blue
Blue Blue 25% Green, 50% Blue, 25% Steel Blue

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This page was last updated on 02/05/13

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