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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Genus: Vermicella
Species: V. annulata
Binomial name
Vermicella annulata
(Gray, 1841)

The bandy-bandy (Vermicella annulata), also commonly known as the hoop snake, is a species of venomous snake in the family Elapidae. The species is endemic to Australia.

Individuals are marked with alternating black and white or yellowish bands, which give the species both its common names and the Latin name (from the diminutive form, annul-, of the Latin anus, meaning "ring").


The bandy-bandy is a smooth-scaled, glossy snake with a distinctive pattern of sharply contrasting black and white rings that continue right around the body. The snout is black and rounded. The eyes are small. The tail is short and blunt. The dorsal scales are in 15 rows at mid body. The average total length (including tail) is 50 to 60 cm (20 to 24 in).


Vermicella annulata is weakly venomous with localized symptoms around the bite area. It is generally considered harmless due to the small size of its mouth [2] and its inoffensive nature.


This species favors periphery suburbs with woodland habitats such as Mt Cotton, Mt Crosby, Kholo, Brisbane & Lockyer Valleys. Most common in areas of remnant habitat structure such as the foothills of Mt Glorious and Brisbane Forest Park. Recently found in Cannonvale in the Whitsunday region of North Queensland. In Southeast Queensland it is found across a wide range of habitats and vegetation types, from coastal forest & woodland, to scrubland, mulga and outback desert.


General habits[edit]

Nocturnal, burrowing snake, found beneath the soil surface, under stumps, rocks & logs. Emerges at night to forage, especially after rain. Unique alarm posture of holding braced loops of body off ground.


The Bandy-bandy has been known to feed on Ramphotyphlops sp. (Blind Snakes)

Around the home[edit]

The snake is infrequently encountered. Occasional specimens discovered by roaming cats at night or often found after falling into backyard swimming pools. Prefers subterranean refugia under large rocks or deeply set ground timber.


  1. ^ "Vermicella annulata ". The Reptile Database.
  2. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Gray JE (1841). "A Catalogue of the Species of Reptiles and Amphibia hitherto Described as Inhabiting Australia, with a Description of some New Species from Western Australia. Appendix E". pp. 422–449. In: Grey G (1841). Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery in North-west and Western Australia, During the Years 1837, 38, and 39, under the Authority of Her Majesty's Government. ... In Two Volumes. Vol. II. London: T. & W. Boone. xiv + 480 pp. (Calamaria annulata, new species, p. 443).