Back in 2011, I ordered a pair of Betta rutilans from Jodi-Lea of Fishchick Aquatics. What I got, was a pair of fish that looked identical to the male pictured below. Having never owned this species before, I didn't realise mine were different from most of the examples of Betta rutilans out there.
Apparently the name of this species basically means 'being red'. If you do a quick search on Google, you will find most of the Betta rutilans pictured are a rich red in colour, with limited iridescence.
As you can see from the picture above, the only thing red on my fish, are their fins. The rest of the body is covered in iridescent green scales, with some of this iridescence carrying through to the fins.
Another abnormality is the method in which my Betta rutilans male chose to incubate his eggs.
This species is commonly accepted as a bubblenester as are all within this complex. However, my male never made a bubblenest the entire time I owned him. Instead, he would incubate the eggs and fry in his mouth in a manner not all that dissimilar to a mouthbrooding species such as Betta unimaculata.
It was not really until I purchased a 'standard' male Betta rutilans (pictured above), that I could appreciate the differences between them. The colouration and body shape is markedly different, and as for the mouthbrooding, I hope to spawn a sibling pair from my original male in the near future to try and discern whether this is an environmental or genetic trait.
I do wonder whether Betta sp. cf. rutilans green should be classed as a rutilans at all. It seems an entirely different species and it would be great if someday it could be appropriately described.
Of course this means I have now added a pair of 'standard' Betta rutilans to my list of fish I would like to purchase in the not so distant future.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.