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.
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.
We love receiving comments, but can’t always respond.
I returned to UK on Fairsea June 1965 via the Panama canal.That trip brings back many happy memories as I have silent film of the complete trip.
To read the latest tweets from @museumvictoria
Follow Museum Victoria on
Would love to hear from anyone on the Fairsea from Nordenham or Bremerhaven which arrived in Port Melbourne on the 22nd Jan, 1951. Thanks