Alright, this is weird. I bought a nice little female piebald crowntail yesterday, at least she was a piebald then. She had a pale tan face, a green-blue body with a couple of tan spots, and a green-blue tail with red around the outer third.
The tail is all that's stayed the same. Mostly, the amount of tan on her body is varying, from a small bit to a large saddle to almost totally tan, but her face is changing too.
When I started this post, her front third was tan, her middle third was blue-green, and her back third was dark blue and red. Right in front of me, the blue-green is becoming more and more gray, as well as shifting on her body, and her face is turning gray.
She's sitting perfectly still, so it's not changing lights, and there aren't any weird shadows over her. What the hey?!
Okay, now she's on the bottom of the tank, and her colors are back to piebald pattern.
Wait, now she's changing again. It looks like this weird shifting only occurs when other fish are near her (it's a community) and otherwise doesn't happen. It's not stress striping, or barring, or anything I've seen in any other female bettas I've ever had, and she isn't acting stressed. She's just swimming around, exploring, and she doesn't seem to respond to other fish, aside from the changing.
Have I got some oddball subspecies of betta? I've never seen anything remotely like this...
PS: I named her Chromascale. Internet cookies to anyone who gets the half-reference!