Bandy Bandy Vermicella annulata

Snakes of Victoria series


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 (95)

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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
SEAN SULLIVAN 18 February, 2017 21:18
Sue i nearly just ran over one on Scotts head road which is about an hour south oif coffs harbour , beautiful creature , i assume it was warming itself on the road it was 9 oclock at night , i git a stick and gave it a shuv lot get it off the road so it was safe from getting run over .
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.

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
Max Eastcott 28 November, 2012 08:05
I saw one this morning in Bingara NSW. It was only about 15 centimeters.
Malcolm 29 November, 2012 07:20
I saw one at Lennox Head NSW
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.
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.
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
Pat 25 February, 2013 17:45
Saw a Bandy Bandy dead on the road in Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland
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.
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.
Dazza 29 April, 2013 20:13
I just saw one in Port Macquarie
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.
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.
Paul 15 November, 2013 23:19
We just saw one of these snakes in the Glass House Mountains forestry.. Never seen one before..
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 ?
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...
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..
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
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.
Norma 31 December, 2013 09:58
My daughter just found one dead in the driveway 44cm long at Wingham NSW.
Doug 6 January, 2014 14:40
40cm specimen found in factory in Heathcote NSW an returned adjoining to National Park.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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).
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.
Kerri 28 September, 2014 12:33
Spent weekend camping at goomburra in qld and we came across one of these snakes.
Koolkat365 11 October, 2014 18:51
Saw one and ran over it in Northern NSW approx. 30cm long
Gus 15 October, 2014 14:37
Saw one of these yesterday, on the Crowdy Bay Rd, Crowdy Bay National Park, NSW. It was still, very still (dead) there the following day. RIP Bandy Bandy
Eileen Austin 25 October, 2014 21:50
Just had one in our kitchen in Jimboomba Qld. It's head came up as if to strike and the rest of its body looped vertically as soon as it saw us.
Glen 29 October, 2014 21:24
Found a bandy bandy at the back door of our house about 50-60cms long, live in the hills district in NSW
Hally 3 November, 2014 20:16
My daughter left the laundry door open and found a bandy bandy in the hall way. Tues 28 th Oct
Ray mclean 11 November, 2014 18:44
Found one that had been run over on the side of the road at Mullbring, hunter valley.about 360mm long.partily cleared old growth forest 11/11/14
Kohring 13 November, 2014 06:34
I saw a Bandy Bandy last night on our property In Tallebudgera on the Gold Coast. It was about 30cm long.
Ruby 15 November, 2014 12:55
Saw one this morning in Cattai NSW approx 50cm but very thin, had been run over, never seen this type before so great to have found this site with information I can now rest easy :)
Jess 15 October, 2015 18:18
I just found one in Sackville North.. It was dead, I think my cat had caught it. :-/
Sally 20 November, 2014 21:58
Hubby just caught a young one, 30cm long, this evening to show me when I got home. He nearly stepped on it. It is the fourth one we have seen here over the years, the others have been fully grown. We have let it go again in the garden.
Rachel 23 November, 2014 23:52
11.35pm woke to dog braking walk out side and there is a fully grown bandy bandy went behind our big fire wood box. What should we do as we have a 17mo the old boy. Engadine nsw
Sharyn 1 December, 2014 10:02
Son-in-law saw a bandy bandy at our place near our shed at night. We are just north of Ingham, North Qld.
Glenn 19 December, 2014 07:47
Saw one last night on our verandah. Probably coming out of the rain. I have seen them before but this one was at least 85 cms. long which made me wonder because I thought they were a smaller snake. We are outside Nambour in Queensland.
Gay 21 December, 2014 22:56
I just had one at my back door. I thought it was a baby brown and had bitten my pregnant dog. Hit it with the broom. Dog seems ok. I live in Manillanear Tamworth.
Discovery Centre 22 December, 2014 10:02
Hi Gay - Glad your dog is OK! As always though, if you feel threatened by a snake, call an expert to remove it. Most bites occur when people attempt to remove or kill a snake (and snakes are also protected wildlife).
Nicole 8 January, 2015 13:25
We saw what we think was a bandy bandy in our back yard under some wood in Lismore, NSW. Quite exciting for our family from NZ to find (after checking the internet to check what it was!)
Melinda 13 January, 2015 14:44
My daughter just got the fright of her life, swimming in the pool and a bandy bandy swims out of the filter box. Beautiful looking snake. We are Blue Mountains NSW, have never seen one of these here!!!
Sandra 18 January, 2015 21:25
Just found one in Cattai NSW. Beautiful!
Lindsey 8 February, 2015 02:22
Woke up at 2.00am to the sound of barking dogs! Have a look round the corner and there is a bandy bandy all looped up defending itself. Watched it slither under my caravan where I'm staying and spent the last half hour with a torch trying to figure out where it went...fair to say I haven't gotten back to sleep since... Keep worring about the dogs and about where the bloody thing got to!
Sarah 17 February, 2015 16:17
Coolamon NSW, 15th Feb 2015. Adult based on size (50-60cm). Found in swimming pool.
Dave and Kelly 19 February, 2015 09:03
My husband was digging out a dam with his excavator and accidentally dug a bandy bandy up was sad to know he had killed it, was approx 50cm we are at Hannam Vale NSW Mid North Coast
Ray 23 February, 2015 15:13
Walked over one at the back door in Merriwa NSW last night. Must have been 50cm. It made a loop for me to pick it up and put it on the grass. Disappeared very quickly from there. Nice looking snake.
basilbob 1 March, 2015 00:06
Driving along a bitumen road tonight drove past one that had been run over maybe 35 cm long. Never seen one before, so stopped on the way home and checked itout. Drove on and about 5km further on, there was another one! Both unfortunately dead - been here 20 plus years seen heaps of browns, rb blacks, pythons, gr and br tree snakes, night tigers, never seen these before though, quite a stunning snake.
Geraldine 1 March, 2015 11:50
Live in Sarina Central Qld and just came across a small one on my garden.
Fiona 12 March, 2015 09:30
I came across this species when I came home from night work it was 1am in the morning. I live in the upper hunter valley town of Muswellbrook. I s this normal to have this species here?.
Laura 23 March, 2015 01:58
Just found a Bandy Bandy in my shed I live in the northern rivers
Neel 31 March, 2015 23:06
My surname is Bandy, so I'm pretty excited that they exist.
Sel 12 April, 2015 19:59
50 cm Bandy Bandy in the carport at Eerwah Vale QLD tonight
Belinda 6 May, 2015 21:28
We found two Bandy Bandy's canoodling outside under a full moon. It was early in March this year just outside of Lismore, northern NSW. They were not startled by us but wriggled away when touched. Fascinating....
Michael 6 September, 2015 15:34
I just dug one up in my garden in Coffs Harbour. Only about 30cm long.
david 20 September, 2015 07:42
Found one in a pile of mulch today about half a meter long. Wasn,t aggressive so just put it aside with the rake,nice looking .This was at Tintenbar ,South of Byron Bay.
Marty Brennan 12 October, 2015 20:40
Pretty sure I just saw one of these in my yard. 8.30pm in Lennox Head NSW. Is this possible?
Michael Robertson 26 November, 2015 20:25
Came across one this evening in the driveway at Coolamon Drive Road, Mullumbimby...I coaxed it into the bushes adjoining the property.
melinda 20 December, 2015 09:51
I was driving in Keerong (northern nsw) last night when i saw one on the road. Unfortunately it had been hit by the vehicle in front of me and died. Its striking to look at....a gorgeous little thing. Its approx 40cm long.
Julie 1 January, 2016 13:00
Found a dead one on our driveway today covered in ants - around 30cm long. Markings very clear and striking. We are at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales.
Troy Wyatt 25 January, 2016 22:30
Caught one tonight crossing road near my property at Mandalong Nsw approx 40 cm in length
Shane 2 February, 2016 10:58
saw one outside lakes entrance curled up on the road to Nowa Nowa
Robert Dawson 6 February, 2016 20:50
I just found a bandy bandy in Tamworth NSW what a beautiful snake he was easy 500mm long
Wendy Mortimer 13 February, 2016 19:08
Just found a bandy bandy on my back patio hiding under a trolley. Never seen one before. Did not know what kind till I googled. This one was about 30cm. Pretty
Brad 9 March, 2016 21:02
Dogs bailed one here at Atkinson Dam, Somerset, Qld. About 30cm.
Ray 9 March, 2016 23:19
Nearly stepped on one tonight in the middle of the footpath, Alfords Point, South Sydney. Very warm night 26deg. He reared up in a loop was 400 to 500 mm. Would have liked to move him into the bush but wasn't game. Let him be.
Melissa barry 13 March, 2016 05:53
I just saw one of these exact snakes today it would have easily been a metre long and very round in the middle with a big head. It was definitely the black and white one like the picture shown it was in Port Macquarie NSW on our property at Sancrox it slithered away really quickly when I drove my car near it
Amelia 28 March, 2016 22:57
Just found one fully grown adult in Cowan, nice and relaxed just burrowed away when we put a light on it.
Liz 19 July, 2016 06:30
My mum told stories of the black and white striped snakes she saw them commonly on her farm as a kid. Central west NSW. I've never seen one and live in the same area.
John 27 August, 2016 13:44
I found one dead on the side of our driveway after a landslip.About 20 cm long. We live on Bolivia hill NSW
gvf 19 September, 2016 11:55
Peter 22 October, 2016 18:18
I often see these snakes dead on the road, but today I saw a bandy bandy sunning itself in my rock wall. I live near Clunes NSW
Howard 27 October, 2016 15:09
Coominya, Somerset, Qld.had one visit us last night,set the dog's off !! What a beautiful snake,500mm long and safely went on his way !!
Patrick 30 October, 2016 13:04
Found one at night a bit longer than 30cm at Cataract Dam between Appin and Wollongong in NSW.
Robyn McGill 14 November, 2016 16:12
There is a Bandy Bandy hiding in the rock cliff behind the marina, we are in Bobbin Head, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Sydney
Eddy 19 November, 2016 00:56
Found one in the garden this evening. Blaxland, NSW. I caught it in the pool net and let it go in the bush. Beautiful snake. About 50cm. Quite thin.
Rock 24 November, 2016 19:43
Found a dead one this morning @ 49cm Port macquarie
Dale 13 January, 2017 07:34
Found one at our back door at Taylors Arm (Nambucca Valley) Nsw last night... good to know it's not terribly venomous & is gentle.
Elvyn 18 January, 2017 11:00
Bandy Bandy seen at Tullera near Lismore soon after dark.
Alan 21 February, 2017 23:47
In the late seventies, I came across one sunning himself on the small wall made from sleepers across the road from my Army unit in Holdsworthy just outside of Liverpool in New South Wales. Have never forgotten it, it was such a beautiful creature.
Sabina Muir 23 February, 2017 16:14
We are travelling down the Murray River near Gol Gol before Mildura and saw a snake like this crossing the river. Have never seen a snake like this before. Approx 40cm long.
craig hildreth 15 March, 2017 20:43
Live in se QLD, just saw one under my house. Was about 60-70cm. Seen lots about 30cm, never on this big before. Any other snake on SE QLD look like a giant Bandai?
Lynda 29 March, 2017 08:50
Saw a live one on my driveway last night about 20cm long.... very beautiful and bold looking...thought it was a toy snake. First sighting ever and I've been in the Promised Land, Bellingen for 30 years.
Karren 19 April, 2017 12:23
Found a bandy bandy snake ..on the top of steep driveway on my partners 70 acres at colo Nsw with its head missing.. Had lovely markings.. Very sad :(
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