Distinctive in colour and markings, the bandy bandy snake is un-commonly found on the Sunshine Coast and around Australia. This unique looking snake is considered mostly harmless as it has a small mouth and generally inoffensive nature, making them an unlikely candidate for accidental snake bites.
Don’t be surprised if your cat brings one of these unique looking snakes into your garden or home!
The bandy bandy snake is black in colour with thick, white stripes marking its body from head to tail. This snake species burrows, and as a result, its eyes are very small and hard to distinguish from the rest of the head from afar. Additionally, there is no distinction between its head and body, giving it a streamlined appearance.
These snakes can grow to lengths of between 50-60cm. They have rounded, black snouts with a rounded, blunt tail. Midbody scales at 15 rows.
The bandy bandy snake is nocturnal and a burrower, and they can often be found in their favourite types of habitats, such as coastal forests, woodlands, scrubland, and even outback desert areas.
These snakes are quite shy and usually keep to themselves. Although you may find one in your garden or near your home, the bandy bandy is unlikely to venture too far away from its natural habitat and hunting grounds.
The bandy bandy snake is venomous, but weakly so. Bites usually have localised symptoms around the affected area. However, they are considered harmless due to their small mouths and relatively unaggressive disposition.
When threatened, the bandy bandy will lift parts of their body off the ground, holding it in loop shapes to deter predators.
Quite unusually, the bandy bandy has a very limited diet and is known to eat only one thing: Ramphotyphlops, or the ‘blind snake’. They will venture out at night, when they are active, to hunt for their prey.
If you own a cat or a swimming pool, or have a very lush garden, you may come across a bandy bandy or two. Should you encounter one, keep pets and children away while maintain an eye on its whereabouts.
You can then call the Snake Rescue Sunny Coast team to safely capture and relocate the bandy bandy somewhere more suitable for it to live.
When we’re looking for a snake, the first places we look are along the walls and under debris. Snakes try to avoid predators by moving along the walls and beneath cover. Unless they are going from concealment to cover or seeking warmth from the sun, it’s unusual to observe a snake moving out in the open.
We study their body language once we discover the snake, before we attempt to catch it. This tells us what the snake is thinking and indicates what it might do. We can tell when they are going to run, stand up and fight, or simply be apathetic toward our presence based on their body language. It’s critical for us to understand how to capture and handle snakes using this information.
After they’ve been captured, they’re put in a bag and kept quiet in a dark, tight space. This keeps us safe while handling the snake, as well as allows the snake to calm down.
Following the capture of the snake, they are relocated to suitable bushland and set free. Each snake is assigned its own habitat and food. As a result, we release them into areas that are ideal for each species. Keelbacks and Red-bellied black snakes enjoy frogs and lizards, so we put them in areas near water sources such as rivers or dams.
During an operation, we always want to double-check the snakes for health and remove any external parasites like ticks before they are released. If the snake is not healthy enough to be released, it may be due to injury or sickness; they are taken to Australia Zoo’s wildlife hospital for further evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation.
As snake catchers, all the snakes we catch are logged with the department of wildlife and science. This is so they can keep track of where each snake has been caught and released, to monitor and maintain the biodiversity in the area.
We have also been keeping a personal log of all the snakes we have caught on the Sunshine Coast that you can view on our website. This way you can see the species and location of each snake we have caught around the sunshine coast and in your areas.
The bandy bandy snake is a weakly venomous snake found in Australia. There are five different species of bandy bandy across the country, and these fascinating species have a very unique appearance with distinctive black and white bands that encircle its body.
If you come across what you suspect to be a bandy bandy snake, look for the following characteristics:
Some bandy bandy snakes may have a white stripe on their head. Be cautious when attempting to identify a snake and always seek the help of the professional team here at Snake Rescue if you are unsure. Remember, it’s impossible to determine whether a snake is venomous just by looking at it, so it’s always best to call your local friendly snake catcher when encountering a snake!
No, the bandy bandy snake is not aggressive. They are known to be quite docile and rarely bite humans unless provoked. This species is well known for its displays of defensive behaviour: the famous loops and S-shapes it contorts its body into when threatened are extraordinary to see!
The bandy bandy snake is venomous, but its venom is weak and usually only causes localised symptoms around the bite area. Despite their venom, they are generally considered harmless to humans due to their small mouths and non-aggressive nature. When threatened, bandy bandy snakes may lift parts of their body off the ground and contort themselves into loop shapes to deter predators.
The bandy bandy snake has a very limited diet and is known to feed almost exclusively on a particular type of small reptile, the ‘blind snake’. They are nocturnal hunters and will venture out at night when their prey is active.