Hausratte (Rattus rattus) CC BY-SA 3.0 H. Zell (

Black rat


The black rat has a snout-vent length of 17 to 22 cm, a tail length of 18 to 23 cm, the tail has 200 to 260 rings, the weight is about 160 to 210 g.

The snout of the black rat is pointed, eyes and ears are relatively larger than those of the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus). Main colour forms are all grey-black (especially in the subspecies rattus), brown-grey with grey underpart (especially in the roof rat Rattus rattus alexandrinus) and brown-grey with white underpart (especially in the fruit rat Rattus rattus frugivorus). There are transitions and other colour forms in between.

The tail is longer than the body, in contrast to the brown rat, where the tail is shorter than the body.


The black rat is only bound to human settlements in colder regions, where it prefers to live in dry residential and storage buildings (especially on upper floors), but also in cellars and stables. In the open, it looks for very different hiding places and builds its nest there.

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia ( On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 25 August 2021