I was reading a book and it said that male bettas breed in ox hoofprints in mud, and the female knows to get to the male by slithering and wriggling (Sp?) themselves from a body of water, over land, and to the hoofprint.
I don't think so... Wild bettas are either mouth brooders or bubble nest makers. if they stay in a tiny puddle to mate, what happens in a few days when the water dries up and the fry are just free swimming? They should stay in the rice paddies and canals to mate... I think your book needs to cite its sources. XD
Don't believe everything you read from books. Seriously. Most likely the author doesn't have the credentials or field work to back this statement up. Sounds like he took a popular misconception and ran with it.
If you take the time to think logically about it you'll see that that is a load of crap.
Wild splendens (since I assume your book was not talking about other species) are bubblenesters. They have to have a secluded, safe spot to build their nest that will be safe from potential preditiors. They'll make their nests among the rice paddies where the nests are unlikely to be seen from above.
When the fry hatch they'll need to swim around to look for food... there will be little to no food in a hoofprint. Also in a hoof print they'd be very vunerable to predation. Just as domestically raised betta fry hid in the plants provided, wild fry will hide among the plants and leaves in their habitats.
Once upon a time I heard that bettas have been found in oxen hoof prints because they used the prints to jump from one paddy to another. THAT would make sense, especially considering what prolific jumpers wild betta are. They have to jump out of the water to catch insects yes, but jumping their way to a different habitat makes sense as well. That's how species spread.
Edit to add...
It's also possible that mouth brooding species have been found in hoof prints (while moving to a different location) and have released fry in those prints and that is how the rumor got started. That's just one of my theories... I've never heard/read of that being the case.
Last edited by 1fish2fish; 01-22-2011 at 10:27 AM.