black rat (Rattus rattus)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
CHARACTERISTICS: The total length of this species is from 325-455
mm with a weight from 115-350 grams. The coat is black to tawny with a
lighter coat underneath . The ears are very large and naked. The tail is
not bicolor and is also naked. They reproduce throughout the year and
produce several litters. They are adept climbers, arboreal, and found in
the upper stories and roofs of buildings. They are on the decline in
Virginia, with displacement by Rattus norvegicus. They are nocturnal and
most active during dawn and dusk. This species was introduced from
Europe and therefore is not native. The chief predator is Rattus norvegicus.
Billions of dollars in damage are done to grain and food yearly.
DISTRIBUTION: They are found primarily around human habitation, on
the upper floors and roof-tops. Outside of human habitations it is found
in woods and swamps.
FOODS: This species is versatile and will eat anything, especially grains.
Crooked Run Valley