The Bandy Bandy, Vermicella annulata, is instantly identifiable by the alternate black and white bands around the body. The mid-body scales are in 15 rows, the anal scale is divided and there are 10-30 divided subcaudal scales. Maximum length attained is a little over 60 cm.
Bandy BandyPhotographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty Ltd
Within Victoria the Bandy Bandy is restricted to northern areas, where it is now considered rare.
A nocturnal, burrowing species, the Bandy Bandy is rarely encountered. It feeds exclusively on blind snakes (Typhlopidae) and has been known to swallow specimens as large as itself. Females lay up to 13 eggs in a clutch. While venomous, it is not considered dangerous to adults. If bitten on a limb, apply a pressure bandage, immobilise the limb and seek medical advice immediately. If bitten elsewhere, apply continual direct pressure to the bite site. Do not wash the wound as the venom can confirm the identification of the snake.
Coventry, A. J. and Robertson, P. 1991. The Snakes of Victoria – A Guide to their Identification. Department of Conservation & Environment/Museum of Victoria.
Cogger, H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books.
Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2003. Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press.
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As Bandy Bandy's feed exclusively on Blind snakes, it will be almost impossible to lure the snake out of hiding. They are primarily nocturnal, so actively searching at night is probably the best option. The Bandy Bandy has a small mouth and a gentle temperament and is reluctant to bite, but because it is venomous you may like to consider a professional snake catcher to remove it.
Hi Andrew, whilst we sympathise with your situation, Museum Victoria doesn't provide advice on animal control methods - perhaps your local council's Environment...
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Fascinating article! Thanks also to Kathryn for making the connection—I've been wondering about those fat white things too which I'd come across when g...