About a week ago (roughly the 9th according to my Betta journal) we picked up this lovely Cambodia coloured female from Petland. We kept her by herself for a little while so we could introduce her to the rest of the sorority after the water change. This has worked for us in the past because we take the females out when we change the water and it leaves them a little disoriented at first and more receptive to a new arrival. It is now the 17th and we are beginning to notice some strange new behaviour traits and a few physical changes...
When we first introduced Kate to the tank, she was very pale coloured and meek. Whenever Cordelia (the alpha in the absence of Hero) flared, Kate ran. Corde's response in itself was odd. Now Kate flares and bites at everyone, living up to the measure of her Shakespearean namesake.
-when she displays she has a full beard (I think...will post a pic of this when I can get one where she co-operates)
-where once she was plain and pale, she now has fuchsia marbling with a chocolate head
-she seems to have staked out one corner of the tank (the one where we feed them, no less) and started blowing bubbles. I have heard of females doing this on occasion, but it's new for Kate.
-her pectoral fins seem to have elongated compared to previous pictures (see Avatar)
After Cordelia died and Hero was re-introduced after a brief quarantine (where we introduced Kate) all of our females became more aggressive toward each other, developed more obvious egg-bloats (except for Kate) and have darker colouring than before she (?) was introduced.
-it wasn't until we intro'd Kate that the colour changes occured
-our once peaceful sorority has become a game of cat-and-mouse
Now that we have removed Kate the others seem to be calming down and coming out of hiding...this leaves us wondering if Kate is male or female since her behaviour is a little ambiguous. See pictures...