Adult weight: The approximate weight of the Black Rat is 200 grams, however this is variable. Length: The average length for just the head and body is 150-220mm. The tail is usually longer than the head and body and can be 180-250mm.
Fur, colour: The fur is smoother and softer than the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus). They are commonly found to be black or grey in colour. Ears, hearing: The ears of a Black Rat are large, thin, hairless and translucent, giving them the advantage of an excellent sense of hearing. Eyes, sight: They have large prominent eyes, but poor sight and are colourblind.
Snout, smell and taste: Unlike the Brown Rat the snout is pointed. They possess a good sense of smell and taste.
Droppings: Dropppings are dispersed in what can only be described as a random and scattered manner. The shape of the droppings are spindle or banana-shaped and are about 12mm in length as shown below.
Habits, habitat: Black Rats tend not to burrow as the Brown Rat would. The nests are found mainly in walls, attics, vines and trees. They are very active, agile, good climbers and are rarely found in sewers. Found to be more erratic and very unpredictable in their habits compared to the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus).
Feeding habits: Black Rats are omnivorous and will feed mainly from fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables. They will consume approximately 25-30 grams per day, needs to drink water and eat food with high water content.
Life cycle: They live for approximately 9-12 months. During 2-3 months into their life cycle they are sexually mature to breed and will produce between 6-10 offspring each litter and have the potential for upto 6 litters per year.