There are seven main recognized betta tail types:
- Veiltail (VT)
- Halfmoon (HM)
- Crowntail (CT)
- Double Tail (DT)
- Super Delta (SD)
- Delta Tail
- Plakat (PK)
The pairs of pictures below show a male betta on the left and a female on the right.
Veil Tail (VT)
Veiltail bettas are the most popular betta types with long flowing caudal (tail) fins that are shorter at the top than the bottom. This is the tail type most commonly found in pet stores.
Halfmoons are technically just a subset of Delta, like Super Delta. Halfmoons will have long straight rays, and their caudal (tail fin) spreads to a full 180 degree semi–cirlce (looks like a “D”). Halfmoons will have multiple ray splitting, from 4 to 16 or even more rays.
Crowntails are rather stunning looking fish. Many betta owners consider them a favorite betta type. Their rays can be long or short and can be single, double or even triple.
Double Tail (DT)
Double Tail is actually a genetic mutation resulting in the betta’s tail being split in two all the way to the tail base. Lobes of a true double tail will have equal size. Any of the previously mentioned betta types may be double tail such as a crowntail double tail (CTDT), a halfmoon double tail (HMDT), or a plakat double tail (PKDT).
Super Delta (SD)
Named for the Greek letter Delta, which looks like a triangle, this tail type looks like a triangle. It will have straight caudal (tail fin) edges. In the search for Halfmoons, there are often Super Deltas. Fish that are very nearly Halfmoons, but do not reach the full 180 spread. Super Delta’s tails will spread 160 to 179 degrees. Often if a Super Delta is rather close it can be trained to be a halfmoon with regular flaring exercise. This tail type is dominant over plakat. If crossed with a veiltail, the number of ray splitting will decrease drastically resulting in a spawn that will be predominantly veiltails with an increased caudal spread.
Plakat is used to describe a short–finned tail. This is the tail type of the wild Betta Splendens. Occasionally a plakat male may accidentally be sold as a female betta as there are only subtle differences between them.
This trait can apply to any tail type where the finnage extends into a jagged/uneven edge making it look like a comb.
Spade or Pintail
This is really a form of VT but where the tail comes to an even point at the end, like a spade. Rays top and bottom should be identical.
Fan or Roundtail
These tails are often confused with the delta or even super delta tail. Roundtail bettas are single–tailed bettas with rounded edges. The rays are shorter at the top and bottom.
This is a type of HM where breeders are now trying to breed straight edges to the caudal fin. They are causing excessive branching in all three unpaired fins and overlapping rays in the caudal producing a rose–like appearance.