Rudy Mancke

Host

Naturalist Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene which began it's long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Before coming to television, Rudy served as the natural history curator at the South Carolina State Museum for 10 years, and was a high school biology and geology teacher. He earned a degree at Wofford College, attended graduate school at the University of South Carolina, and received honorary doctorate degrees from the College of Charleston, Winthrop College, and Wofford College.

Rudy Mancke currently hosts NatureNotes on both SCETV and South Carolina Public Radio.

Contact Rudy Mancke

Ways to Connect

The larva for the Rustic Sphinx moth, Manduca rustica.
homie00001 [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a caterpillar for a Rustic Sphynx Moth.

The Dobsonfly

Aug 20, 2018
A female Dobsonfly
Andreas McKay [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The female Dobsonfly has strong pincers, though they are smaller than the male's.

The Pine Snake

Aug 17, 2018
A Pine Snake
Glenn Bartolotti [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds a snake that is seldom seen in South Carolina, though they live throughout the state.

Mystery Bird's Nest

Aug 16, 2018
A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest.
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab [Public Domain Mark 1.0] via Flickr

The Blue-Gray Gnat Catcher lives here in the warmer months. They build nests of spider silk or caterpillar silk, and cover them with lichens.

Ghost Shrimp

Aug 15, 2018
A Ghost Shrimp
Ken-ichi Ueda [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

This ghostly-white shrimp burrows in the sand and mud near the edge of the ocean.

Yellowfin Shiners

Aug 14, 2018
Notropis lutipinnis, Yellowfin Shiner, male.
Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

A listener spots bright red fish swimming in a school near Lake Jocassee and wonders what kind they are. The male Yellowfin Shiner turns red during spawning season.

Vaejovis carolinianus - Southern Unstriped Scorpion.
Glen Peterson [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The Southern Unstriped Scorpion is commonly found in the piedmont and mountains of the state. The Striped Scorpion seems to be moving north into the state, found in the coastal plain.

Trapdoor Spiders

Aug 10, 2018
Trapdoor Spider Fort Bragg, North Carolina, USA.
Patrick Randall [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A Southern Trapdoor spider spotted in the Upstate, unusually, walking across a road.

A Roseate Sooonbill
Charles J Sharp [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

These birds, in no great numbers, are usually found on the coastal plain of South Carolina.

"Fuzz" in the Grass

Aug 8, 2018
Braconid wasp pupae  on a Tomato Hornworm.
Bev Wagar, [CC BY 2.0]

The pupal cases of the Braconid wasp stick together with fuzzy-looking material.

NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

A predator-prey drama takes place in Magnolia Gardens...

Gooseneck Barnacles
Alex Derr [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds an odd combination of objects on the beach, Rockweed and Goosneck Barnacles.

A Water Strider.
Tim Vickers [Public domain] from Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds a Wheel Bug "recycling" a Water Strider.

Dark Fishing Spider

Aug 2, 2018
The Whitebanded Fishing Spider, Dolomedes albineus.
John [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

This spider is one of the largest found on the state.

Firewheels

Aug 1, 2018
Gaillardia pulchella, or Firewheel.
© Xavier Caré [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Gaillardia pulchella, or Firewheel, is a southwestern species that has become naturalized to South Carolina.

A Opossum skeleton.
Mariomassone [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds the bones of an Opossum, South Carolina's only marsupial.

A Noisey Bird

Jul 30, 2018
A Gray Catbird.
Matthew Petroff [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

One of the sounds made by the Cat Bird resembles a house cat's "meow."

"The Mockingbird"

Jul 27, 2018
NatureNotes
SC Public Radio

The Mockingbird, a poem by Frank Stanton...

Florida Cottonmouth

Jul 26, 2018
An Eastern Cottonmouth snake, agkistrodon piscivorus.
Geoff Gallice, Gainesville, FL; via Wikimedia Commons

This subspecies is not as common as the Eastern Cottonmouth, which is widespread on the Coastal Plain.

Puss caterpillar.
Gerald J. Lenhard, Louisiana State University, Bugwood.org

This larva of the Southern Flannel moth is very common in South Carolina.

A common whitetail dragonfly, male.
Bruce Marlin, via Wikimedia Commons

Males of this species have a bright white abdomen.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Jul 23, 2018
Jack-in-the-Pulpit fruit.
Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant that is fruiting.

Eastern Hognose Snake

Jul 20, 2018
Eastern hognose snake
Sturgis McKeever, Georgia Southern University, Bugwood.org

These snakes come in various color schemes, but, always have an upturned "snout."

Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) - Carolina Raptor Center at Huntersville, North Carolina
Dick Daniels [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

These birds are more common inland than they use to be.

Eyed Click Beetle, Alaus occulatus
By Henryhartley (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots an Eyed Click Beetle and wonders about the purpose of the false-eye spots.

A Southern Copperhead
Ltshears [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

The Copperhead is more likely to strike when disturbed than any other venoumous snake in the state.

Carolina Wrens often come back to the same area each year to nest.

Caterpillars?

Jul 13, 2018
The larvae of the Dusky Birch Sawfly are often mistaken for caterpillars.
Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

The Dusky Birch Sawfly is a stingless wasp. As the common name implies, its prefered food plant is the River Birch.

A "Mermaid's Bracelet"

Jul 12, 2018
A tube from a polychaete worm, most likely a Plumed Worm, Diopatra cuprea.
Karen Parker, Florida Fish and Wildlife via Flickr

A family finds an object in a tidal pool which one of the children dubs a "mermaid's bracelet." It's actually a tube extending from a Plumed Worm, or Diopatra cuprea, beneath the sand.

A Great Crested Flycatcher.
Amy Evenstad [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds the nest of a Great Crested Flycather and has a question...

Pages