Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, Australia
There are about 70 odd species of wild betta. The species are divided up into 'complexes', which are basically groups of very closely related species.
Betta splendens is from the splendens complex, and it is this species from which the ornamental strain of betta was developed. Through decades of selective breeding and (I believe) early hybridisation with the closely related species Betta imbellis and Betta smaragdina, we have created a fish that often bears little resemblance to its wild counterpart.
It's sort of like a dog and a wolf. They are related, but there is a vast difference in behaviour and appearance.
A 'wild-type' plakat is like a dog that has been bred to look like a wolf, but it is definitely still a dog.