Bandy Bandy

Vermicella annulata  

Bandy Bandy (Vermicella annulata) Bandy Bandy, Vermicella annulata, in defensive `looping’ posture.

Identification: 

Bandy Bandys have 48 or more sharply contrasting black and white rings fully encircling the body.  The eyes are small and the tail is bluntly-tipped.  This species grows to 76 cm.  Midbody scale rows 15; ventrals 180–260; anal divided; subcaudals divided 12–30.

Vermicella annulata distribution

Distribution: 

This species is widespread through eastern and far northern Australia.

Habitat:

Found in most habitats from wet coastal rainforest to desert.

Habits:

This snake is a burrowing, nocturnal species that is often found sheltering beneath rocks and logs.  It is sometimes seen crossing roads on humid nights.  When threatened, this snake raises loops of the body vertically off the ground.  The significance of this display is unknown, but probably serves to confuse predators.  It may also help to protect the snake's head which remains on the ground.

Danger: 

The venom of this species is poorly known.  One case of snake-bite with moderately severe local symptoms has been reported.  Apply first aid and seek urgent medical attention for all suspected bites.  First aid procedure for any snakebite from the Australian Venom Research Unit.

Food: 

Feeds almost exclusively on blind snakes (family Typhlopidae).  It feeds infrequently and can do without food and water for extended periods.

Breeding: 

2 – 13 eggs are laid.  The hatchling snakes are around 17 cm from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail (snout-vent length).

Similar species:  

None.  The bodies of no other Australian land snakes are fully encircled by black and white rings.

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