Betta pardalotos described from Sumatra

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Fighting fish expert Heok Hui Tan has described a new species of Betta from Sumatra.

The new fighting fish is named Betta pardalotos in the latest issue of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

Betta pardalotos belongs to the B. waseri species group and can be distinguished from other members of the group in having two white rounded patches on a black throat, opercle with three curved rows of black dots along its edge, the membranes of the dorsal and caudal fins with black transverse bars, anal fin without a dark edge, and the lower margin of the operculum without any dark coloration.

Picture of the habitat of Betta pardalos by Heok Hee Ng.

It is very similar to B. chloropharynx, from which it differs in having a heavily spotted opercle, an evenly-sloping or slightly convex forehead, irregular dark blotches on the body, the anal fin originating at the sixth or seventh lateral scale, a deeper caudal peduncle, longer head and more lateral scales.

The new species is known from the lower Musi River drainage in southern Sumatra, and is named after the spotted pattern of the opercle (Greek pardalis=leopard).

For more information, see the paper: Tan, HH (2009) Betta pardalotos, a new species of fighting fish (Teleostei: Osphronemidae) from Sumatra, Indonesia. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 57, pp. 501"504.