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Betta bellica


Betta bellica
Slender Betta
苗条斗鱼
Betta bellica was redescribed in 1996 by Tan and Ng. In the same paper a new species, B. simorum , was also described. While the former has now been recorded from both Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra, the latter is known only from Jambi and Riau provinces on Sumatra. So similar-looking are these two that without knowing the collection locality of the fish in question it can be very tricky to separate them. There are small differences in the shape of the head and length of the pelvic fins in males but a number of other factors such as the age of the fish can complicate matters. In the paper Tan and Ng list the differing morphological characteristics between the two thus: 

"Betta bellica differs from B. simorum in the following characters: lower anal fin ray count (mode 31, vs. 32); lower dorsal fin ray count (mode 12, vs. 11); lower lateral scale count (mode 33, vs. 34); lower postdorsal scale count (mode 8, vs. 9); shorter pelvic fin (23.6 - 38.8% SL, vs. 31.3 - 48.3; reaching end of 8th anal ray, vs. 14th); shorter pelvic fin flange (ending halfway pelvic filament, vs. two-thirds); non-overlap of adpressed pelvic fin branched rays with anal fin origin (vs. overlap), and a less sloping lateral head profile (vs. more sloping with a slight concavity)." 

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