Betta Fish Tail Types and Patterns
There are many different breeds, tail types and patterns of Bettas. Detailed below you will find the different terms put to these tail types, patterns and colours
Veil Tail (VT)
The most common type of tail type you will ever come across in pet stores is the Veil Tail. This type of tail is long, with a long anal and dorsal fin also, and droops down from the caudal peduncle. In breeding, a veil is dominant over other tail types and is therefore undesirable when breeding show Bettas. The term “veil tail” is often abbreviated to “VT”. Veil Tails are now no longer accepted in the show Betta circuit due to their bloodlines being diluted by excessive breeding for the pet store market.
The Plakat is a short-finned version of the common Betta. The Plakat, or Plakad, is the most closely related to wild Betta splendens or traditional fighting Bettas. The term Plakat is often abbreviated to “PK”. There are 3 sub-categories related to this tail type. There is the traditional Plakat where the tail is rounded, sometimes with a point.
The Crowntail betta fish has become a hugely popular tail type variation. Crowntails received their name from their spiky tail and fins. There are three recognized types of crowntail, the double ray, the single ray, and the crossed ray. Crossed rays are the most desirable and the most expensive to purchase. There have also been lesser known variations such as the triple ray, even the quadruple ray! Crowntails can have their tails in a full 180-degree spread, or less than a 180 degree spread depending on their breeding.
Half Moon (HM)
The Half Moon, or “HM” is a very desirable tail type and also very popular. It is characterized by having the full 180 degrees spread when flared, forming a “D” shape with straight edging. Dorsal and anal fins are also dramatically larger than those on other fin types. Half Moon betta are prone to tail-biting and fin damage, their tails are large and unnatural and Half Moon betta often feel hampered down by their fins. This also means they’re one of the hardest tail types to breed as the males find it hard to successfully wrap the females.
Over Halfmoon (OHM)
The Over Halfmoon (or “OHM”) is the extreme end of the Halfmoon where the spread, when flared, is over 180 degrees. It can apply to both long-fin Halfmoon and the Halfmoon Plakats.
The Half Sun (no abbreviation) has come about from selective breeding of the Crowntail and Halfmoon, to create the spread of a Halfmoon with the slight crowning of a Crowntail.
Deltas (D) & Super Deltas (SD)
Deltas (or “D”) and Super Deltas (or “SD”) are very similar to HM’s but have less than a 180 spread when flared. Super Deltas are nearly an Half Moonbut not quite, Deltas are far less than an Half Moon. Delta tail is the right name for any single tailed non-Halfmoon Betta. Deltas and Super Deltas are differentiated from Veil Tails by the fact that if you drew a line from the nose to the tip of the caudal fin, on a Delta or Super Delta there would be an equal amount of fin on either side of the line, whereas on a Veil Tail there would be little tail at the top, and the majority below. 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.
Double Tail (DT)
The Double Tail (or “DT”) can be seen combined with Plakats, Halfmoons, and even Crowntails. It is a genetic trait that causes the caudal fin to grow into two lobes rather than one. They have two caudal peduncles. While flaring, their tail almost makes a full circle. The genes that cause this also cause the body to be shorter and the dorsal and anal fins to be very broad. As the body is effectively stunted in length, DT’s are more prone to swimbladder problems(BETTA DISEASES) and this also affects fry survival rates.
Combtail and Half Sun
The Combtail is a cross of a Crowntail and another tail type. With selected breeding, a combtail can be bred into a crowntail, but may still carry a dominant gene such as the VT. They often have the typical droop of the Veil tail but combined with some extended rays on all fins to varying degrees. They are not as spiky as the Crowntail but do have a slightly pointed appearance.
The Spade Tail has an equal spread on either side of the fin, similar to a Round Tail, but with tail finishing in a point rather than a rounded edge. 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.
Round Tail OR FANTAIL
Not often seen, the Round Tail (no abbreviation) can be compared to a Plakat with a large tail, and mistaken for a Delta. The fin shape is round, rather than the straight edges of a Delta, but fuller and longer than that of a Plakat. This can also be referred to as a “Single Tail”. they are often confused with Halfmoons, but half-moons should have a ‘D’ shaped caudal, with sharp edges, while the round tail has rounded edges.
Rosetail & Feathertail
A Rosetail (no abbreviation) is an extreme Halfmoon with excessive branching of the rays giving the tail a “ruffled” edge. If there is a huge amount of branching it can be referred to as a “Feathertail”. These fish are hard to breed on as the excessive mutations that cause the branching can lead to other mutations such as poor scales and short ventral fins. Rosetail’s fins, especially the caudal have excessive branching and overlapping which gives the appearance of a rose.