Endemic to the island of Borneo where it’s restricted to southern and western parts of the state of Sarawak, Malaysia with a handful of populations across the border in Kalimantan Barat (West Kalimantan) province, Indonesia.
Type locality is ‘Small peat swamp forest, 2.55 kilometers south of Batang Rejang ferry on road from Sibu to Kuching, Sarawak, East Malaysia, 2°08’N, 112°00’30″E’.
According to Tan and Ng (2005) its range in Sarawak extends from Sibu southwest to Kuching and onwards as far as Matang.
It’s been collected at several different localities and these populations are often labelled by collectors and enthusiasts to maintain accuracy and preserve pure bloodlines, e.g., Sibu, Matang.
Apparently the greenish lateral blotch varies in size according to collection locality, with specimens from Matang exhibiting a much larger spot than those collected around Sibu.
Many habitats around the former have disappeared as much of the zone has been turned over to housing projects.
A stenotypic inhabitant of peat swamp forests and associated black water streams.
The dense canopy of branches above means very little light penetrates the surface of such environments, and riparian vegetation also tends to grow thickly.
The water is typically stained darkly with humic acids and other chemicals released by decaying organic material.
The dissolved mineral content is generally negligible and pH can be as low as 3.0 or 4.0.
The substrate is usually covered by fallen leaves, branches and submerged tree roots and at certain times of year the fish may be forced to survive within the moist leaf litter for several weeks as permanent water is not always available.
At the type locality the forest floor was covered with approximately 10 cm of undecomposed leaf litter with a system of 5-10 cm deep puddles.
Aquatic vegetation included Cryptocoryne pallidinervia and Barcleya cf. motleyi and during periods of rainfall the entire forest floor was flooded and remained that way for a period.
Other fishes present included ‘Puntius‘ pentazona, Rasbora kalochroma, Clarias teijsmanni and Monopterus albusplus the congener Betta climacura.
Maximum Standard Length
25 – 30 mm.
Temperature: 24 – 30 °C
pH: 3.0 – 6.0
Hardness: 18 – 90 ppm
Preys on insects and other small invertebrates in nature with the stomachs of four dissected wild specimens containing arthropods including terrestrial ants and aquatic mites (Witte and Schmidt, 1992).
Captive fish will normally accept dried products once they’re recognised as edible, but should be offered plenty of small live or frozen foods such as , Artemia or regularly to ensure development of optimum colour and condition.
Take care not to overfeed as Betta spp. seem particularly prone to obesity.