BEST BETTA - FIGHTER ORIGINS
BEST BETTA: Siamese Fighter Origins
Betta splendens, commonly known as the Siamese Fighting Fish, is native to Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.
Gambling on fish fights has been popular throughout Asia for many years, with records of the first collectors spanning back beyond the 19th century.
Siamese Fighter Fish are known to be highly territorial, males in particular are prone to high levels of aggression. So when two males are placed in a glass jar, with no means of escape, they will attack eachother - the winner being declared as the Betta that continues attacking after the other has given up. Often this results in the death of one or both of the fish.
In the wild, betta spar for only a few minutes before one fish backs off. Bred specifically for heightened aggression, domesticated betta matches can go on for much longer, up to 6 hours in some cases.
While considered extremely cruel by moderate modern standards, like cock fighting, fish fighting is still fairly commonplace throughout Asia. Collecting Betta's for the purposes of fighting ultimately led to their popularity amongst fishkeepers today, with many bred to be larger and more robust. Thai breeders bred them for colours and finnage, which led to their introduction into the mainstream aquarium hobby.
Nowadays Betta Splendens are considered a vulnerable species due primarily to habitat destruction.