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Betta rubra


Betta rubra
Toba Betta
红色战士斗鱼
Betta rubra was re-introduced to aquarists in the early part of 2007 and has gone on to cause quite a stir in the hobby. It remains much sought after by enthusiasts and prices are generally quite high. Contrary to some of the available literature, it is not synonymous with B. imbellis and is in fact included in the B. foerschi complex of closely-related species. At time of writing this assemblage includes B. mandor , Betta rubra, B. strohi and of course B. foerschi . While these are all similarly-sized it is difficult to confuse Betta rubra with any of the others as its colouration and patterning are quite distinctive, the others in the group being predominantly dark-bodied fish. It was in fact placed into its own species group by Witte and Schmidt (1992), primarily on the basis of a triangular marking that appears between the eyes of the fish. Tan and Ng (2005) suggest that this feature is insufficient to warrant the formation of a separate species group and "tentatively" placed the species into the B. foerschi grouping. 

An interesting fact about this particular group is that its members are thought to have evolved from one or more bubble-nesting congener. It has been speculated that a "link" species may yet be discovered that bridges the gap between the two breeding strategies, as all the ones currently included are mouthbrooders. Where they differ from other mouthbrooding Betta is in the method by which the male collects the newly-laid eggs during spawning. In most species these are picked up in the mouth of the female before being spat out into the water for the male to catch. In foerschi complex fish the male collects the eggs from the anal fin of the female in a similar way to the bubble-nesting species, or from the base of the aquarium if any are dropped. 

Foerschi and Mandor have red opercular bars, Strohi have gold bars. Rubra have red opercular bars and males can exhibit red stripes in the body.
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