In Australia, we have a smaller amount of rat colours, mutations and coat types than other countries overseas such as the U.K or U.S.A, but we also do NOT have the deadly diseases that they have such as Sendai, SDA, and Megacolon etc.
Here I will display the current coat types, colors, and patterns that are known to exist in Australia.
Also note, we do not currently have any Dumbo rats in Australia.
C O L O U R S
AGOUTI BASED COLOURS:
Agouti - (AA is true agouti, Aa is Agouti carrying black)
A ticked coat appearing generally brownish grey with black guard hairs, with a lighter grey belly, has black eyes. Agouti is the colour most seen on wild rats. They can become rusted to brown and yellowish tones with age.
Cinnamon - (Mink Agouti) A*mm
A ticked coat appearing generally russet brown with dark guard hairs, and a lighter cream belly. Black eyes. It is a diluted form of Agouti.
Argente - (Ruby Eyed Mink Agouti) A*mmrr
A lightly ticked coat with a distinct orange hue and a light cream undercoat and belly. Ruby eyes. Can be confused with Cinnamon and Topaz (the colours of all vary widely), but argente can be confirmed by the ruby eyes, cream undercoat and lack of dark guard hairs.
Topaz (Also called Fawn) - (Ruby Eyed Agouti) A*rr
A ticked coat in a rich orange to ginger colour with a distinctive slate grey undercoat. Ruby eyes. Can be confused with argente as they can appear identical in colour, but topaz has a slate grey undercoat while argente has a creamy white undercoat. This colour doesn't seem to be as common as Argente.
Silverfawn - (Pink Eyed Agouti) A*pp
A pale apricot coloured coat that is evenly ticked with silver guard hairs. Easily distinguishable from other orange based colours by the pink eyes and silverish toning.
BLACK BASED COLOURS
Black - (aa)
A dark glossy coat, often more chocolate than black. Usually silvered. Black eyes. Tends to rust in places to reddish brown tones. There is no "true" black rat in Australia.
Mink - (Mink Black) aamm
A silvery brown coat, which can vary widely from a grey-blue to a warmer brown-grey. Black eyes. Often silvered. This is one of my favourite colours.
Dove - (Ruby Eyed Mink Black) aammrr
A pale silvery coat. Can vary from pale brownish grey to pale almost blue tones. Ruby eyes. Often mistaken for mink, but generally paler and can be identified as dove by the ruby eyes. Another one of my favourite colours.
Buff - (Ruby Eyed Black) aarr
Can sometimes be hard to distinguish from Dove, although it is usually a warmer beige colour. Ruby eyes.
Champagne - (Pink Eyed Black) aapp
A warm creamy off-white to pinkish-grey coat. Pink eyes. Can sometimes be hard to distinguish from white, for example on a hooded or berkshire.
White - (PEW - cc) or (BEW - nn) or (REW - nnrr)
A pure white coat with either pink, black or ruby eyes. Usually referred to as a PEW (pink eyed white) BEW (black eyed white) and REW (ruby eyed white). Occasionally you can get a rat that has two different coloured eyes. They are usually referred to odd eyed rats. They can come in White, and sometimes patterned varieties.
Blue - dd
A slate grey-blue to pale grey-blue in colour. Black eyes, sometimes confused with mink, but blue is distinctly grey-blue, while mink tends to be a warmer brown. Blue agouti is a similar colour, but with a ticked fur. This particular colour can carry a deadly hemopheliac gene, there are few blues in australia, most breeders won't work with them. Blue can be combined with other colours to create "blue dilutes".
Chocolate - tt
This is the newest color mutation to Australia, and is confirmed to be a real chocolate colour. We are unsure of how these gene works, but it appears to be co-dominant. i.e carriers of the gene appear chocolate from a young age but as they grow, it becomes much less obvious. Rats with 2 copies of the gene are born and stay light chocolate throughout their lives.
There are currently a few known coat types in Australia:
Rex: This was the first coat type to emerge here apart from Standard. A rex had has a wavy/curly coat, sometimes rough, with wavy/curly whiskers. It is a co-dominant gene, which means that a rat with 1 copy of the gene only has a relatively wavy/curly coat and whiskers, but a rat with 2 copies, also called a "Double" rex, has a thicker more plush and usually curlier coat and tightly curled whiskers. Double rex rats can also suffer from ingrown eyelashes. "Patchwork" rexes usually emerge between matings of Double rex X Double rex, and lose patches of fur then regrow them constantly throughout their lives.
Silk: This coat type is co-dominant as well, A silk rat has a soft, silky coat, the hair has a slight "wet" appearance and is the texture of fine silk thread. So far there are no known health issues associated with this gene.
Velour: This coat type has come under some controversy recently, some people believed it to simply be rex, but it has been proved otherwise. Velour is hard to describe, it feels similar to rex but the hairs seem to be thicker and have a different feel, also the gene is recessive (Both parents need to "carry" the gene for it to emerge in a mating).
*Pattern section still under construction*
Rats that are shown with clubs and organizations are preferred to have certain body characteristics. The judge of the show will look for these things when judging the rat.
For example, The general appearance should be nice to look at, they should be aware, inquisitive, friendly and healthy. The body should be somewhat long with a racy appearance, and strong bone. The loin is to be well arched.
Condition - Should be a good weight, males somewhat larger and may have more body fat than females. The coat should be short, soft and shiny. Males permitted to have longer guard hairs than females. Nails to be trimmed, rat should be well presented and clean. Males to be of large build, with a well arched back.
Females to be approx. 2/3 size of males.
Head - Should be reasonably long, but not overly so, muzzle to be broad and blunter in males. Good width between the eyes and ears. Ideally, ears and eyes should correspond with muzzle to form a "V" shape.
Eyes - To be large, bold, prominent and clear. Eyes to show animation and interest.
Ears - To be set far apart on the head and to have an even distance between the 2 ears, standing upright and be free from folds and creases. To be large and round.
Tail - Should be thick at the base tapering to a fine point, as long as the body highly desired. Kinks, scabs, nicks undesired.
General - Rats must be easy to handle. Any rats who exhibit unsteady, shy, fearful or aggressive tendencies
shall be penalized. All faults are to be considered equally, with not one particular fault being more serious than the other.