Betta fish are among the most popular and beautiful pet fish in the world, but that wasn’t always so. The genus Betta contains more than 73 recognized species, but the fish most people are familiar with is Betta splendens, or Siamese Fighting Fish. Wild betta fish are a dull greyish-green with short fins; nothing like the spectacularly colored, long-finned beauties of today! Through selective breeding, a wide range of colors and fin types have been developed, including: veil, delta, halfmoon, crowntail, double tail and many more.

Betta fish are largely named after the size and shape of their tail.

Most varieties of betta fish have been bred to exhibit similar colorations over tail types, so naming by color can be difficult if it’s not a designer breed. An exception to this would be something like the dragon scale betta.

Betta fish genetics are complex, though, and the science behind the tail is truly fascinating!

Do you know all the different betta fish tail types out there? Do you know what type of tail your betta fish has?

Veil tail

The veil tail is the most common tail type for betta fish. to recognize it look for long, flowing, downwards swooping tails.

Spade tail

Named because of the very clear spade like appearance of the caudal fin. The tail has a wide base which then narrows smoothly to a point.

Double Tail

Recognized as it possesses two distinct tails which are separated at the base. Double tail betta fish also tend to have a large dorsal fin.


The Half-Sun betta fish is truly beautiful and is a cross between the Halfmoon and the Crown tail varieties of betta. The full 180-degree spread is achieved, but instead of rounded edges, the fins have slight crowning.

Crown tail

Named because of the spikey crown appearance of their fins. If the tails webbing exceeds 2/3rds of the tail it is no longer considered a crown tail.

Comb tail

similar to crown tails these bettas are named after the webbed spikey tail. Unlike crown tails the webbing on the fin rays exceeds 2/3rds.

The difference between the two is not super drastic.


The term Plakat betta is used to describe short finned bettas. The tail is short and round on the traditional plakat.

Dumbo Ear

Not strictly a tail type. Dumbo ear bettas have extra-large pectoral fins which result in these fins looking like elephant ears.


Wild Bettas have a more subtle, elegant beauty, many are less aggressive and can be kept in pairs or groups, and many species breed with relative ease. Most wild species in this genus are found in dimly-lit forest swamps, streams, and pools, and require biotope accomodations in their captive tanks.


A delta tail starts narrow towards the body of the betta fish and widens towards the tip giving it a triangular shape.


The halfmoon tail is large and when flared will fan 180 degrees. This causes the tail to create a half circle shape resembling a half moon.

Rose tail

A beautiful variation of the halfmoon. The difference is the extra branching on the rays of the fins, which causes overlapping, giving it a rose like ascetic.