As the only marked standard not to specifically dictate where the markings of the rat must be, variegated rats probably get away with much more than many others in the marked section. The front of the rat is very distinctly described, but once we’re beyond the shoulders we’re simply told that the back, sides, and tail should have even flecks and patches of colour rather than told exactly the size of these flecks and where they should be.

Commonly, variegateds end up with not much colour on their sides (and all of the flecks concentrated in a wide stripe on their back), or patches of colour that merge into blocks, giving a very solid look rather than the flecky and patchy look that’s desired.

Genetics: A combination of alleles at H-locus – one allowing lots of white spotting (ie the gene that causes BEW, capped, etc), and one that allows only a small amount of white spotting (eg the standard wild-type gene, or the Irish allele). For example hnhi,  hehi,  hnH,  hnH

NFRS standard: The head and shoulders to be of a distinct colour with a white spot or blaze on the forehead. Where a spot is present this should be centrally placed on the forehead, round or oval in shape and no bigger than the rat’s eye. Blazes are a wedge shaped symmetrical blaze of white starting at the nose and extending up the face to the forehead. The blaze to cover the whisker bed and taper to a fine point midway between the eyes and the ears. Markings not to extend onto the cheeks or the eyes. The rest of the upper portion (back, sides and tail) of the rat’s body to be white, evenly marked with patches and flecks of distinct colour, the colour to conform to a recognised colour variety. Underside (including belly, chest and throat) to be white, devoid of creamy tinge or staining.