Armand, the fish in my avatar, was sold to me as a dragon. I purchased him from a breeder. I've been doing some research on what a dragon is and I've boiled it down to two main features: metallic scales which appear distinct from each other, and fins brightly coloured or in contrast to the body colour. Some definitions also include white or powdery-looking scales, with the metallic scales mainly on the sides of the body.
You can see in this pic that Armand has the metallic-blue body scales and pale-blue powdery looking scales on his head, along with contrasting blood-red fins. It's easier to see in person.
Dragonscaling looks almost like armor over the base coloring thick and refined see how each individual scale is outlined and clearly visable....be careful of the "dragon's " at petsmart a lot are labeled as that but clearly are not.
that link just goes to anything tagged as dragonscale betta on google. so right and wrong ones if there even is such a thing. someone who knows needs to take a great picture of a dragon, and illustrate it on the features that make it qualify. While showing another picture that shows what doesn't. Because at this point we're throwing out colors again. well if it's white... well if it's metallic...
I'm not saying anything is or isn't but it doesn't seem like there is a true standard, and if there is, there's a small handful of people who know it, and a vast majority of people who think they do, but don't.
I don't mean that to offend people. But that's how it looks to me. You all have very beautiful fish regardless of what we call it.
From my understanding there are "true dragons" (with the white scales over the base color on the body) and there are Bettas that are technically dragons, because they have thicker scales, but aren't "true dragons" because those scales aren't white.
I know that's technically a matter of "color" but, from what I read, that's the difference between what the dragons were meant to be, what was originally aimed for, and a technicality, so to speak, that allows for colored dragons as well.
This is a good discussion! I guess in the end there's no rock-solid definition of what a dragon is, and different people have different opinions.
I will continue to call Armand a dragon in my signature, simply because that's how the breeder classifies him. I call Voltaire a rose tail but I've seen pics of similar finnage that are classified as "feather tail". Again, the breeder's classification is what's in my sig. Here is Voltaire for reference: