Species Spotlight - Betta Brownorum
B. brownorum (named in reference to Allan and Barbara Brown the first collectors of this species), is one of the most recognisable members of the coccina complex, thanks to its trademark green, lateral blotch.
The size, shape and even presence of this blotch can vary greatly between individuals. While there are some brownorum with quite large lateral markings, there are others with only a small area of green, and sometimes even fish with no markings at all.Mouthbrooding B. brownorum
While Seriouslyfish.com has its maximum standard length at a conservative 2-3cm, I tend to side more with the 6cm listed by the IBC SMP (Species Maintenance Program) site. I have found B. brownorum to be one of the bigger species of this complex if kept on a high-quality diet.
Like with all species of betta, aggression levels vary wildly between individuals.
My original group of B. brownorum, were very placid. There was an obvious dominant pair, but I rarely witnessed any violent interactions between this pair and the others in the tank. On the other hand, my current wild-caught pair can be extremely aggressive at times and it is not uncommon for the female to emerge with damaged fins and missing scales.
However, with that said, a 30x30x30cm tank is more than big enough to house a pair of B. brownorum, provided there is adequate cover. However, to house a group of these fish (particularly multiple males) I would be looking at tanks in the 45-60cm range.
One remarkable characteristic of this species, is that certain males are able to switch between mouthbrooding and the more traditional method of bubblenesting.
The trigger for this unusual behaviour is unknown, although it has been suggested that particular strains are more liable to mouthbrood than others.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.