Re: NANFA-- Bluenose shiner news [off topic]
Thu, 18 Sep 2003 05:45:16 +0700

That is a good one. Nobody knows for 100% sure if Mahachai betta
is indeed a new species or originate from a variety evolved from
release of fighting-form bettas from ancient times. Mahachai area is
a hot spot for betta "arena" for hundred of years and both wild bettas
[wild splendens, wild imbellis and smaragdina] and fighting-form
bettas from all over the country have been brought into the area for
fighting/betting purpose [some would have been released]. Anyway real
Betta sp. Mahachai does exist in the wild and their outward appearance
seems to be consistent throughout their natural range, and they breed
true [F1 and F2 are similar to parents].
The copper variety is developed from crossing Mahachai betta X
domestic splendens and/or imbellis. They are not real wild Mahachai
betta. Also years ago [the practice is still committed] there are
Mahachai X imbellis betta cross sold as "Indo betta" and "real
Mahachai betta" [which it is not real]. These fishes cause lots of
coufusion to what real Beta sp. Mahachai actually is.
Generally wildtype Betta splendens is NOT what is shown in most
books. The big short thing is actually fighting-form splendens
[Plakadmor]developed for fighting purpose. Real wildtype splendens
[Plakadtung, Plakadluktung, Plakadpar] is much more slender and
smaller and the coloration seems to be more or less similar throughout
their range.
I wonder if fighting-form betta is released into Betta
sp.Mahachai habitat will they be fit enough to survive and spawn with
Betta sp. Mahachai in such freechoice situation. Channa striata and
Channa gachua do live in Mahachai betta's home and would be happy to
deal with short, fat stuff that is released there.
BTW if a fish is originated from natural hybrid of a few species
and evolves over time in the wild till the phenotype is fixed
[descendants's appearances are more or less uniform] in the wild
should it be regarded as a morph, variety or species?


Steffen Hellner wrote:
> Do you speak of the dubious Betta sp. Mahachai? I have had them, they for me
> look like a hybride of imbellis x splendens x smaragdina. The Thais are very
> good in mixing these species and build up viable strains, e.g. the very hard
> fighters or the copper-colored. And they are as good in setting those
> strains free. But maybe I am wrong and it is a valid species. Time will
> show.
> Steffen
> > Von:
> > Antworten an:
> > Datum: Sun, 14 Sep 2003 01:31:51 +0700
> > An:
> > Betreff: Re: NANFA-- Bluenose shiner news
> >
> > I agree that more evidence are needed before deciding to do drastic
> > action. I remembered someone in the list said before that wekala is
> > generally hard to collect except in some specific locations. Does
> > anyone study wekala's distribution and migration fully yet? Where is
> > wekala out of spawning season? What other factors can cause its
> > disappearance from a few spots? drought, pollution, etc etc.?
> >
> > I and friends had been collecting a locale in Thailand that have a
> > special wild betta last year. After half a day we got only a single
> > female, so we were worried that, since the spot was collected by many
> > people often, the betta might be wiped out by overcollecting. 2
> > monthes later when the heavy rains and floods began my friend took a
> > few anabantoid-lovers from overseas to the same site without much
> > hope. They ended up getting two dozen bettas with only a few net
> > swoop... The area is actually inaccessible in most parts with only a
> > small fraction walkable and collectable, so most betta collected are
> > likely a small part of the population that spill out of the main
> > inaccessible area. Maybe wekala is not much different?
> >
> > Tony
> >
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