In addition to the ornamental show betta, the IBC also focus on the showing and conservation of the entire Betta genus.  Currently there are over 94 species of Betta listed, over 80 species are described by scientific literature (the remaining are as many as 6 to 12 yet undescribed), with more being found all the time.

The Betta genus is categorized into two distinct groups by their mode of reproduction—bubblenesting and mouthbrooding.

Bubblenesters breed in the typical anabantoid fashion.  The male courts the female and when receptive she approaches the male and enters into the spawning embrace.  The female will then release eggs that are fertilized by the male.  The male tends the nest until the young are free-swimming.

Mouthbrooders breed in a similar fashion to bubblenesters.  The male flares for the female in some species, while in other species the female initiates spawning.  The interested couple pair off and after some posturing they embrace at the bottom of the tank.  Once the eggs are produced the female picks up the eggs and spits them at the male (in most species).  After the male has captured all of the eggs in his mouth the pair will embrace again until spawning is complete.

For more information on the many fascinating species see the IBC Species Maintenance Program