Bush rat

Bush rat. Photo: Queensland Government.

Bush rat. Photo: Queensland Government.

Common name: bush rat

Scientific name: Rattus fuscipes

Family: Muridae (rats and mice)

Conservation status: This species is listed as Least Concern in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992) and it is ranked as a low priority under the department's Back on Track species prioritisation framework.

Description: Bush rats are about 16 cm long (not counting the tail), have soft brown-grey fur and bands of scales on their tail.

Habitat and distribution

Bush rats are found along Australia's east coast, coastal areas of South Australia, and southern parts of Western Australia. They are especially common in south-east Queensland's D'Aguilar Range. Look for them in rainforest, dense vegetation and along the edges of creeks and building footings.

Life history and behaviour

Like house rats, bush rats have razor-sharp incisor teeth, but eat a more selective diet than their common cousins. Sheltering by day in burrows, bush rats come out at night to eat mainly insects but also eat fungi and other plants.

They generally live alone or with their young.

Listen

Listen to an audio clip of the bush rat (MP3, 138.0KB)

† Requires an appropriate media player