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Penang betta

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Contents of this page belong to The Penang betta, Betta pugnax, is a species of freshwater ray-finned fish in the gourami family (Osphronemidae) of order Perciformes. It is native to and common in swiftly-flowing forest streams of the Malay Peninsula, Cambodia, Thailand, Borneo, and Sumatra, having originally been described from a population in Penang state in Malaysia. In addition to its native range, the species has been introduced to Guam.[1][2]

Preferring clear, soft, acidic waters of 24?28 °C (75?82 °F), this betta shelters under overhanging shore vegetation and among submerged roots and leaves in its native streams. It is one of the mouthbrooding Betta species.[1][2]

B. pugnax, as a natural predator of mosquito larvae, has found use in mosquito control efforts.[3] Prior to its being eclipsed in Western public recognition by the mass-imported B. splendens (the Siamese fighting fish), B. pugnax was well known as a fighting fish, attracting the interest of scientists studying animal behaviour at least as long ago as the 1880s.[4] While today far less popular than the ubiquitous B. splendens, the Penang betta is reputed to be easily kept and bred in hobbyist aquaria.[5]

Cantor originally described the Penang betta as Macropodus pugnax, classifying it alongside the paradise fish (M. opercularis); its specific epithet, pugnax, is Latin for “fighting”. B. brederi is a junior synonym for this species. B. pugnax is also known as the forest betta, the Malayan betta, and the Penang mouth-brooding fighting fish.[1][6]

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