Metallics and coppers are characterized by their large coverage of iridescent scales. Coppers are almost exclusively a fish with a steel blue base while metallics can be a large variety of colors with an iridescent layer overtop. This degree of coverage can then be further divided into different types of coverage like ‘Dragon’ Bettas which are metallic bettas that have a thick, almost armor-like iridescent scaling overtop of their body.

The Dragon Betta

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The above picture is a Black Dragon HMPK. One of the most notable features of a dragon is a pronounced coverage of tightly packed together iridescent scales, known as ‘white scaling’, along the body. When I first purchased this male, he had absolutely no red wash in his fins. However, around the 9 month mark the red wash appeared. This would be a fault to his color. I’m not sure sure yet how to breed out the red wash just yet, but I have had a breeder tell me that getting rid of red in a black dragon line can be difficult. In addition to his color faults, he is also in the beginning stages of what’s known as ‘dragon eye’ or ‘diamond eye’ where the iridescent pigmentation is starting to form along his eye. This is essentially a cataract and can vary in its intensity.