Bush rat
Rattus fuscipes assimilis. Pseudomys novaehollandiae Copy of GAH-36442.tif Image: GA Hoyne
Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    fuscipes
    Genus
    Rattus
    Family
    Muridae
    Order
    Rodentia
    Subclass
    Eutheria
    Class
    Mammalia
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Body 110 mm - 205 mm, tail 105 mm - 195 mm, weight 65 g - 225 g
  • Feeding Habits
    omnivore

Introduction

The Bush Rat can be quite difficult to find because of its nocturnal habits and also because it prefers to nest hidden in dense forest.

Identification

A native rat, the Bush Rat is grey-brown in colour with rounded ears and a relatively short tail.

The Bush Rat has the following key features that help to distinguish it from other rats or marsupials:

  • Front teeth One pair of distinctive chisel shaped incisors with hard yellow enamel on front surfaces.
  • Head Pointed head.
  • Ears Conspicuous rounded ears.
  • Colouring Grey to grey-brown or reddish above, grey or cream below; dense soft fur.

Similar species

Black Rat (Rattus rattus) and the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

Habitat

The Bush Rat lives in forests, woodlands and heath. Bush Rats prefer to live in the dense forest understorey, sheltering in short burrows under logs or rocks and lining their nests with grass. They are not found often in urban areas.

Distribution

The Bush Rat is found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and south-western Western Australia.



Feeding and diet

The Bush Rat is an omnivore and eats fungi, grasses, fruits, seeds and insects.