Bandy Bandy Vermicella annulata

Snakes of Victoria series

Identification

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.

Photo of Bandy Bandy

Bandy Bandy
Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty Ltd

Distribution and habitat

Within Victoria the Bandy Bandy is restricted to northern areas, where it is now considered rare.

Biology and bite

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.

Further Reading

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.

Comments (34)

sort by
newest
oldest
Peter Nievelstein 11 April, 2010 10:52
I found one in my back yard this morning. It was approximately 30 CM long, I did not kill it but picked it up and released it inm the park across the road.
reply
Natasha Wells 12 December, 2011 17:28
saw a black and white stripe snake approx.50cm in length (as shown in the picture above) went into a hole in the floor of our shed near the house. We live in Southern NSW.
reply
Alan Bloomfield 19 December, 2011 12:48
We live in Central Queensland and have come across a couple of these beautiful snakes. Thought you might be interested in the fact that they are this far north.
reply
nathan 16 January, 2012 11:42
ive got a bandy bandy hiding somewhere in my house, any ideas to lure it out so i can put it back outside
reply
Sue Wetherell 20 January, 2012 21:41
I almost ran over one warming itself on the road last week (summer) in the night. We stopped and took photos of it. What a beautiful creature! We live near Coffs Harbour NSW.
reply
Discovery Centre 2 February, 2012 17:00

Hi Nathan,

We forwarded your question to Museum Victoria’s Live Exhibits team who provided us with the following information:

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.

reply
Anthony 19 October, 2012 17:56
I think I found a dead baby one in my pool skimmer basket today. I live in North West of Sydney NSW
reply
Max Eastcott 28 November, 2012 08:05
I saw one this morning in Bingara NSW. It was only about 15 centimeters.
reply
Malcolm 29 November, 2012 07:20
I saw one at Lennox Head NSW
reply
Chris 8 January, 2013 21:09
The dogs bailed up one on the lawn, caught it ,and will release it back in the bush Karangi NSW.
reply
coralie 24 January, 2013 09:39
Saw a dead Bandy Bandy at Koonorigan (Northern Rivers NSW.)I think it had been run over by a car.
reply
Peter Gavey 25 February, 2013 08:43
Found one dead on the side of the road this morning. About 50cm long. Never seen one before. We live at Mulbring. NSW
reply
Pat 25 February, 2013 17:45
Saw a Bandy Bandy dead on the road in Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
close this reply
Write your reply to Pat's comment All fields are required

We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.

Anthony 8 March, 2013 22:41
Found a bandy bandy at our back door tonight, not knowing what it was I killed it and have since found out I should have left it. Found on Lake Hume between Albury and Jingelic NSW.
reply
tink 16 March, 2013 21:35
We nearly trod on one tonight - it looked full size, was moving slowly across our yard toward the chicken coop. I've seen some holes in the vegie garden recently appear, they look about the right size for this guy. We live in the Channon, Northern Rivers.
reply
Dazza 29 April, 2013 20:13
I just saw one in Port Macquarie
reply
Taxo 24 October, 2013 19:46
I've just rescued one of these beautiful snakes from our backyard swimming pool. It must have fallen in whilst searching for water and then couldn't get back out again, it's about 40cm or so in length. I discovered it floating around on the vacuum hose in the pool. Scooped him out with the pool net and thankfully it appears in good health. We will release it back into the garden tonight. We live in Willawarrin near Kempsey N.S.W.
reply
Hazmat 28 October, 2013 21:03
I saw one tonight on my way to check the goats. about 50cm long. I'm just south of Coffs.
reply
Paul 15 November, 2013 23:19
We just saw one of these snakes in the Glass House Mountains forestry.. Never seen one before..
reply
geoff 20 November, 2013 20:15
i saw a snake at night on a farm near Wingham NSW. there are stevens banded in the area but this was more pronounced white and black. It moved in a confusing looping way,fast. Is there any way to distinguish the two snakes ?
reply
Tracey 24 November, 2013 17:15
Found one in Binningup Western Australia? But was orangey in colour?? Unfortunately, my dog killed it :( Not the first one I have seen here tho...
reply
Jane 25 November, 2013 06:18
Saw a dead on side of road in between ingleside and terry hills NSW. Took a picture, sure it is a baby bandy bandy too..
reply
Joan Mcleod 11 December, 2013 00:01
11-55pm 10th December 13...just found a full size one comeing out of our shed and got some great photos. Im on the Mid North Coast 30kms west of Kempsey NSW
reply
David Williams 24 December, 2013 10:19
Found a dead juvenile specimen beside the Highway just outside the levee at Bourke - early this morning on my bike ride. Spectacular creature.
reply
Norma 31 December, 2013 09:58
My daughter just found one dead in the driveway 44cm long at Wingham NSW.
reply
Doug 6 January, 2014 14:40
40cm specimen found in factory in Heathcote NSW an returned adjoining to National Park.
reply
Montana 14 January, 2014 22:50
I just got back from a night mountain bike ride in the Royal National Park in NSW and came across one on the fire trail running along the tram tracks. I only spotted it as I was just about to ride over it! I think I managed to miss it and it wriggled off into the grass. It was approx 45cm. Scared the pants off me!
reply
Victor George 29 January, 2014 23:25
I saw a snake that was like this one tonight at Yangan, between Warwick and Kilarney. The cat bailed it up but I got the cat inside and left it alone.
reply
Doug 13 February, 2014 18:53
I am located in Woombye, Sunshine Coast Qld & I noticed a full grown Bandy Bandy on the edge of a concrete driveway (close to timbered bushland). A beautiful looking snake.
reply
KJ 24 February, 2014 20:46
I'm sure this is the type of snake my cat just threw up on my kitchen floor. Beautiful black and silver-white scales, was skinnier than my little finger so I reckon it was a baby. We live in Central Queensland too.
reply
Rob C 14 March, 2014 17:29
Sunshine Coast Queensland.... Caught one in a Neighbour’s garage last night. Their small dog wouldn't stop barking at the garage door. Released it into the natural reserve behind our properties.
reply
Clinton Pacey 17 March, 2014 21:58
I live in Sunshine Coast Queensland I came across one of these beautiful reptiles in my front yard :)
reply
adam Triffett 31 March, 2014 20:01
Possible sighting of a bandy bandy today in Yea, Victoria ? Having read the comments, uncertain due to the distribution (Northern parts).
reply
Jacqueline Anderson 9 April, 2014 17:29
Saw a dead bandy bandy by the side of the road in a Rosebank in the Northern rivers today.
reply