Betta or Siamese Fighting Fish
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Bettas, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are small (up to 3 inches long) rather plain-colored fish native to the Mekong River basin in Thailand and Cambodia. They feature a unique organ (the labyrinth) that enables them to breathe atmospheric oxygen and thus to live in very low-oxygen waters such as slow streams, paddies, and ditches. The name “fighting fish” refers to the aggressive behavior of territorial males.
After more than a century of captive breeding, Bettas in the pet trade are very different than their wild ancestors. Bred for beauty, pet Bettas come in a variety of bright colors and have long flowing fins (longer in males).