Black Rat - Rattus rattus

Black Rat

Rattus rattus

Family: Muridae (murids), 59 species native to Australia plus a few introduced species (the black rat, brown rat, pacific rat and house mouse).

Size: 16-21 cm head and body, plus 18-26 cm tail

Distribution: Around nearly all the coastal regions of Australia to a few hundred kilometres inland. All of tasmania.

Status: Secure, regarded as a pest.

Habitat: Disturbed areas, watercourses, urban areas and in buildings.

References: Cronin's Key Guide to Mammals, Van Dyck, Gynther and Baker, Menkhorst and Knight, Australian Museum.

About the Black Rat

The black rat is introduced from Europe. Some of them actually look black, but many black rats look brown and not black at all in appearance. The most distinguishing feature is its long tail, longer than its body plus head length. The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is a different species and has a thicker tail, less than or equal to its body-head. Native Rattus species have shorter tails.

Black Rat - Rattus rattus
Photo: Lower Blue Mountains, NSW. High Resolution 2292 x 2188.

Black Rat - Rattus rattus
Photo: Lower Blue Mountains, NSW. High Resolution 2236 x 1300.

Black Rat - Rattus rattus
Skull drawing from Wikipedia

Black Rat - Rattus rattus
Skull of the Black Rat. Photo by Klaus Rassinger und Gerhard Cammerer, Museum Wiesbaden, Wikipedia.

See Also

Australian Birds
Australian Reptiles
Australian Frogs
Australian Fish
Australian Spiders and Their Faces
Australian Wild Plant Foods

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