Roof Rat Identification

Some characteristics that can be used to identify rat species:

 Wood Rat (Pack Rat)    Cotton Rat Roof Rat (Black Rat-Ship Rat)    Norway Rat

Wood Rat
(Pack Rat)

Cotton Rat

Roof Rat
(Black Rat, Ship Rat)

Norway Rat
Head and body 6-8 inches Head and body 5-7 inches Head and body 7-8 inches Head and body 8-10 inches
Hairy. Bicolored, lighter below. About as long as head and body combined, 5-8 inches. Scaly, sparsely haired. Bicolored, lighter below. Shorter than head and body combined, 4-5 inches. Scaly. Dark color. Longer than head and body combined, 8-10 inches. Scaly, nearly hairless. Darker above, lighter below. Shorter than head and body combined, 4-8 inches.
Gray to grayish-brown with lighter feet and underbelly. Coarse, blackish to grayish fur. Black guard hairs cause a grizzled appearance. Several color phases. Tends to be blackish with a lighter underbelly. Brownish-gray above, grayish below.
Large, hairy. Large, but nearly concealed by fur. Large, nearly naked. Small, covered with short hairs.
Blunt Blunt with high "Roman" nose. Pointed Blunt
Blunt, 1/2 - 3/4 inch long, 3/16 - 1/4 inch diameter. Pale greenish or yellow, 3/8 inch long, 3/16 inch diameter. Pointed, banana shaped, 1/4 - 1/2 inch long, 3/16 inch diameter. Blunt ends, 3/4 - 1 inch long, 1/4 - 3/8 inch diameter.
Mammary Glands
2 pair 2 pair 5 pair 6 pair