Coat types

Body types


Variegated Downunder

This is the third Downunder ‘family’ phenotype to be standardised in the UK. Variegated Downunders are currently shown in the ‘New Varieties’ section at shows. There are still very few breeders in the UK who breed for any of the Downunder types, and currently there doesn’t appear to be anyone breeding specifically for Variegated Downunder. […]


Although not recognised as a variety in its own right for showing in the UK, masked is used as a term for a fairly common mismark that can be seen in litters when breeding for Black Eyed White or Capped rats.

Genetics: As for Capped (homozygous for notched or extreme Hooded locus – hnhn, hehe […]

American Irish

The standard for Irish rats in some US clubs probably most closely resembles the UK Berkshire variety, though it is more accepting of rats with less white on their underside. The lesser marked versions are often given the affectionate but descriptive nickname “belly Irish” or “tummy Irish” in the UK – it is not a […]

English Irish

AKA Irish

Cap stripe

Not a standardised variety in the UK, but cap-stripes have been exhibited in some US rat clubs, though they’re not currently recognised for showing. There are no plans to recognise them in the UK or anyone breeding them for show, as far as I am aware.

There are two distinct types of cap-stripes. The first […]


You can see where the name badger comes from, with the white stripe up the centre of the face, and the eyes firmly within the coloured area, but it is only in the facial markings that the badger rat resembles an actual badger.

The badger’s other name is blazed Berkshire, which possibly gives a clearer […]


Another fairly rare marked variety, this unusual combination of Essex and chinchillation is not often seen at shows, and it is even difficult to come across photos clearly showing the markings. It is not yet a standardised variety in the UK, and does not even appear as a new variety in any other countries as […]

Spotted downunder

The second downunder variety to get a standard in the UK, the spotted downunder can also trace its roots back to the 1998 discovery of the downunder gene in Australia.

The spotted downunder looks like a capped rat with small spots of colour covering the body and stomach instead of the pure white body you’d […]

Hooded downunder

The name of the downunder rat varieties neatly allude to both the origins of the marking (being the first new variety of rat to appear in Australia, the land “down under”), and the marking itself – a stripe on the underside of the rat. This very distinctive and striking variety first appeared in 1998 in […]

Essex capped

Originally referred to as the Baldie, this variety was renamed the Essex capped in 2010. It is not yet standardised in the UK, though it is fairly common as it will appear in the first generation if Essex are mated to most other markings. Mismarked examples are often mistaken for capped, but generally capped do […]