What are the different species of rats - 64 rat species
The rat is one of the most common and successful mammals on earth. Even the rat family tree is impressively large. The rat family is primarily composed of members of the Rattus genus. Members of this genus are also known as old-world rats or "true rats". These aren't to be confused with cousin species like a nutria (Myocaster coypus). We can learn a lot about the species, as well as rodent control measures, by taking a quick look at all the representatives of the Rattus genus.
1. Black rat (Rattus rattus)
The black rat is the prototypical rat. When people conjure up an image of a rat, the black rat is generally what springs to mind. The black rat originally lived in the western areas of both India and Pakistan. However, over time it's spread to every corner of the earth. The only exception is Antarctica. However, while they have no permanent presence in the region. they have been known to temporarily stow away with humans venturing into those chilly lands.
2. Brown rat (Rattus norvegicus)
The brown rat comes in as a close second when people think of the species as a whole. These animals were originally native to China, Japan and Siberia. They've since migrated to the same general area as the black rat. However, they've made it a little further. The brown rat has the honor of being the only rat species to have had a long-term presence on the International Space Station.
3. Enggano rat (Rattus enganus)
This species evolved in Indonesia. Sadly, it's beyond the point of being endangered and might have gone fully extinct.
4. Philippine forest rat (Rattus everetti)
As the name suggests, this rat originated in the forests of the Philippines. It's notable for easily outcompeting all foreign rat species introduced into its habitat.
5. Polynesian rat (Rattus exulans)
While named for Polynesia, it's found all over the world. This tiny brownish colored rat is the third most common rat in the world. It's only tailing behind the black and brown rat for its success in migrating all over the world.
6. Hainald's rat (Rattus hainaldi)
Only found on the Flores Island within Indonesia. It receives extra protection due to the fact that its territory overlaps the Kelimutu National Park.
7. Hoogerwerf's rat (Rattus hoogerwerfi)
This extremely rare rat is found in Indonesia. It tends to prefer the high altitudes of Mt. Leuser.
8. Korinch's rat (Rattus korinchi)
This rat is found in similar habitats to Hoogerwerf's rat. Despite their similarity, the two species diverged 1.4 million years ago.
9. Maclear's rat (Rattus macleari)
This was one of two rats native to Christmas Island. Unfortunately, it's now presumed to be extinct.
10. Nillu rat (Rattus montanus)
Also known as the Sri Lankan mountain rat. This is due to the fact that it's only found in Sri Lanka and prefers higher elevation.
11. Molaccan prehensile-tailed rat (Rattus morotaiensis)
This prodigiously-tailed rat is only found in a range of islands in Indonesia.
12. Bulldog rat (Rattus nativitatis)
One of two, now extinct, species of rat that lived on Christmas Island.
13. Kerala rat (Rattus ranjiniae)
This rat lives in India where it can be found in both dry lowlands and swamps.
14. New Ireland forest rat (Rattus sanila)
As the name suggests, it was once endemic to New Ireland island in Papua New Guinea. However, there's some debate as to whether the species has gone extinct.
15. Andaman rat (Rattus stoicus)
This rat lives in the Andaman Islands of India. It prefers to be active at night in well-forested areas.
16. Timor rat (Rattus timorensis)
Lives in the teak forests of India. It's quite rare, and mainly seen in the heights of Mount Mutis.
17. Himalayan field rat (Rattus nitidus)
This is one of the more common rats, found in many different Asian areas. It's also known as the white-footed indo-Chinese rat.
18. Turkestan rat (Rattus pyctoris; obs. Rattus turkestanicus)
This rat loves heights, primarily being found over 1,200 miles above sea level in Afghanistan to China.
19. Sunburned rat (Rattus adustus)
This rat lives, or lived, in Indonesia's Enggano Island. Living specimens haven't been seen since 1940.
20. Sikkim rat (Rattus andamanensis)
Primarily found in China, India, Thailand and Vietnam. It's notable for a primarily brown fur pattern with white on its belly.
21. Ricefield rat (Rattus argentiventer)
Primarily found in Southeast Asia. This medium sized rat is notable for an orange tuft of fur at the front of each ear.
22. Summit rat (Rattus baluensis)
This rat loves heights and has been seen as far as 3,426 m on Mt. Kinabalu, its major habitat. Unfortunately, the other largest colony, on Mount Tambuyukon, is in danger due to global warming.
23. Aceh rat (Rattus blangorum)
Only two specimens of this mysterious Indonesian species have ever come to light. It's believed to prefer lowland forests.
24. Nonsense rat (Rattus burrus)
This evocatively named rat is primarily found on islands in India. It's currently endangered due to the extensive changes to its native habitats.
25. Hoffmann's rat (Rattus hoffmanni)
This Indonesian rat is found in Sulawesi and the Togian Islands.
26. Lesser ricefield rat (Rattus losea)
This Asian rat was discovered in 1871. It's primarily found in China.
27. Mentawai rat (Rattus lugens)
This Indonesian rat is named after the Mentawi Islands which make up its primary habitat.
28. Mindoro black rat (Rattus mindorensis)
This Philippines rat prefers to remain in the hills and forests.
29. Little soft-furred rat (Rattus mollicomulus)
This soft-furred rat is almost as small as a mouse. Primarily found in the heights of Indonesia.
30. Osgood's rat (Rattus osgoodi)
This Vietnamese rat is only found in the Lam Dong province.
31. Palm rat (Rattus palmarum)
Only found in the Nicobar Islands. It ranges through all types of forests on the islands.
32. Sahyadris forest rat (Rattus satarae)
This Indian rat is primarily found in Western Ghats.
33. Simalur rat (Rattus simalurensis)
This Indonesian rat primarily lives on Simalur island.
34. Tanezumi rat (Rattus tanezumi)
This rat is found in most Asian countries. This has earned it the nickname of Asian house rat.
35. Tawitawi forest rat (Rattus tawitawiensis)
This Philippine rat is only found in Tawi-Tawi.
36. Bonthain rat (Rattus bontanus; obs. Rattus foramineus)
An Indonesian rat found in southwestern Sulawesi.
37. Opossum rat (Rattus marmosurus)
Contrary to the name, this Indonesian rat isn't related to opossums.
38. Peleng rat (Rattus pelurus)
An Indonesian rat only seen on Peleng Island.
39. Southeastern xanthurus rat (Rattus salocco)
Only three specimens of this Indonesian rat have ever been found. It's thought to still live on the southeastern peninsula of Sulawesi.
40. Yellow-tailed rat (Rattus xanthurus)
Indonesian rat found in northeastern Sulawesi.
41. Vogelkop mountain rat (Rattus arfakiensis)
Indonesian rat found on the Bird's Head Peninsula.
42. Western New Guinea mountain rat (Rattus arrogans)
This rat is primarily found in New Guinea. It prefers mountains and areas with high elevations.
43. Sula rat (Rattus elaphinus)
An Indonesian rat that's only found on the Taliabu and Mangole islands.
44. Spiny Ceram rat (Rattus feliceus)
Indonesian rat which has only been found in Seram.
45. Giluwe rat (Rattus giluwensis)
Found on Mount Giluwe in Papua New Guinea. Prefers to live in the mountain's subalpine grasslands.
46. Japen rat (Rattus jobiensis)
Despite the name, this is an Indonesian rat. It's only found on the Yapen, Biak-Supiori and Owl islands.
47. Cape York rat (Rattus leucopus)
Mainly found in New Guinea, but some can also be found in Australia's Cape York Peninsula.
48. Eastern rat (Rattus mordax)
This rat is mainly found in Papua New Guinea.
49. Moss-forest rat (Rattus niobe)
This rat is mainly found in the forests of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
50. New Guinean rat (Rattus novaeguineae)
Despite the name, this rat isn't especially common in Papua New Guinea, but it can be found in some areas of the country's central regions.
51. Arianus's rat (Rattus omichlodes)
Indonesian rat with a strong preference for mountains and other elevated areas.
52. Pocock’s highland rat (Rattus pococki)
Very similar in appearance to Rattus niobe, but a little larger and darker. Found in New Guinea.
53. Large New Guinea spiny rat (Rattus praetor)
Despite the name, it's found in areas other than New Guinea. This includes Indonesia and the Solomon Islands.
54. Glacier rat (Rattus richardsoni)
Indonesian rat primarily lives in Puncak Trikora. It prefers altitudes of over 10,500 ft. above sea level.
55. Stein's rat (Rattus steini)
This rat is found in both Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It's tiny size and distinctive fur have given it the nickname "small spiny rat".
56. Van Deusen's rat (Rattus vandeuseni)
This mountain loving rat is found in southeast Papua New Guinea.
57. Slender rat (Rattus verecundus)
A rat found in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and West Papua.
58. Dusky rat (Rattus colletti)
This Australian rat prefers the subcoastal areas of the Northern Territory.
59. Bush rat (Rattus fuscipes)
This nocturnal rodent is one of the most common species of rat in Australia.
60. Australian swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus)
This stocky Australian rat has a distinctive cream color.
61. Dusky field rat (Rattus sordidus)
This rat is extremely common along Shoalwater Bay in Northern Queensland. It's also found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
62. Pale field rat (Rattus tunneyi)
This Australian rat was once extremely common, but it's now mainly found in the northern and eastern ends of Australia.
63. Long-haired rat (Rattus villosissimus)
This Australian rat is also known as the plague rat due to how quickly it's spread over most of the continent.
64. Koopman's rat (Rattus koopmani)
This Indonesian rat is only found on the Banggai Islands.
We've learned there are many more species of rats than one would have thought. This was not always the case — these species have evolved over time. Rats have the ability to multiply at an alarming rate, and can quickly spread to new locations. Controlling rats is necessary to keep the species from quickly getting out of hand. With quick-kill options like the A24 Trap, they can be managed without the use of toxins.