Content about nature

Acorn Weevils

Nov 3, 2017
An acorn weevil.
Bruce Marlin [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

The acorn weevil is common in South Carolina.

Black Tupelo

Nov 2, 2017
Black tupelo tree leaves turn brilliant red-orange in the fall.
Jean-Pol Grandmot [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Black tupelo, or black gum trees, are common in South Carolina and are among the first to change color in the fall.

Island Applesnails

Nov 1, 2017
An Island Apple Snail.
Roo Reynolds [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Apple Snails are an invasive species, released into South Carolina's environment by the dumping of aquariums by hobbyists.

Camel Crickets

Oct 31, 2017
A male camel cricket.
Jenn Forman Orth [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Camel crickets and closely related cave crickets belong to a large group of insects. They are found throughout the world with over 100 different kinds found in the United States and Canada.

"There is no season..."

Oct 30, 2017
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Matthew Brady/Library of Congress [Public Domain]

Sea Cucumbers

Oct 27, 2017
A sea cucumber.
US Embassy Canada

A listener finds hundreds of sea cucumbers on the beach at Pawleys Island.

Sooty Tern

Oct 26, 2017
An adult sooty tern.
Duncan Wright, USFWS [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

A lowcountry vet finds a juvenile sooty turn, likely blown in by a storm.

Heliconius charitonius (zebra longwing butterfly),Florida.
By James St. John [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

The zebra longwing butterfly is not common in South Carolina.

Black Witch Moth

Oct 24, 2017
A male Ascalapha Odorata or commonly known as the Black Witch Moth.
Happycoder89 [CC BY 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds a black witch moth--a rare species for South Carolina.

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

The southern unstriped scorpion was, for many years, the only scorpion found in South Carolina

It is the only scorpion native to much of the Appalachian states: Kentucky, West Virginia (S), Virginia (SW), North and South Carolina (W), Georgia (North, not coastal or southern, where Centruroides hentzi is found), Alabama (N, ditto), Mississippi (NE), Louisiana (tiny, disjunct, area NE of Baton Rouge near MS border), and Tennessee.

Red Bats

Oct 20, 2017
Eastern Red Bat, Lasiurus borealis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae)
Matthew O'Donnell [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Red bats are common South Carolina.

Red-Eyed Vireo

Oct 19, 2017
Red-eyed Vireo
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarre [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener spots a red-eyed bird he cannot identify.

Smelly Caterpillar

Oct 18, 2017
Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio troilus)  Frozen Head Natural Area & State Park, Morgan County, Tennessee.
Michael Hodge [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The caterpillar of the spice bush swallowtail butterfly can produce a "strange" odor when disturbed.

Sistrurus miliaris miliaris, the Carolina pigmy rattlesnake.

Hiking in Mistletoe State Park a family finds two Carolina pigmy rattlesnakes, the most distinctly patterned, and variably colored subspecie of the pygmy rattlesnake group.

The snake ranges from eastern North Carolina, southwestward through most of South Carolina, across central Georgia and Alabama, and into a small portion of east central Mississippi.

"Woodbines in October"

Oct 16, 2017
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares poems by Charlotte Fiske Bates, "Woodbines in October," and "

A female common yellowthroat.
Tnolley [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

The female common yellowthroat songbird is harder to identify than the male, especially in its first year.

A female two-striped walking stick with a male on its back.
Mary Keim [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The male two-stripped walking stick is much smaller than the female.

Marbled Orb Weaver
Ben Jackson/Flickr

A listener finds a marbled orb weaver spider recycling an Illinois river cruiser dragonfly.

Mammut americanum (Kerr, 1792) - American mastodon tooth (molar) from the Pleistocene of North America. (public display, Cincinnati Museum of Natural History & Science, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)
James St. John [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a tooth on Edisto Beach which may have belonged to a mastadon.

The Snake's Last Meal

Oct 10, 2017
A Canebrake Rattlesnake.
Ltshears, via Wikimedia Commons

A necropsy on a canebrake rattlesnake reveals its last meal.

Eastern Hognose Snakes

Oct 6, 2017
Eastern hognose snake
Wikipedia. Creative Commons License

If you pick up the eastern hog nose snake, it will play dead. It's pretty scary looking, though , so most people don't bother.

The larva of a lacewing butterfly.

The larva of the lacewing butterfly stacks the dead carcasses of its prey, its molts, and dirt onto its body for camouflage.

A midland water snake.
Peter Paplanus [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

This nonvenomous snake is found from the Midlands to the mountains of South Carolina.

The Atlantic Sturgeon

Oct 3, 2017
An atlantic sturgeon brood fish at the Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery, SC.
James Henne/USFWS [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Atlantic sturgeon were a highly sought after target for commercial caviar fishermen on the Atlantic coast. Overfishing and pollution were initial reasons identified for population declines. Successful fall spawning has occurred for 3 consecutive years in 2011, 2012 and 2013 at the Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery, SC. A successful temperature regime for fall spawning (without the use of hormones) has been developed for natural tank spawning.

Puss caterpillar.
touterse [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The puss caterpillar has stinging bristles. It is the larval form of the southern flannel moth.

A female "railroad-worm" beetle: lights on, lights out.
(c) Aaron Pomerantz [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

By day, a normal looking "worm." By night... it glows! The railroad-worm, or glow-worm, is a larva or larviform female adult of a beetle of the genus Phrixothrix in the family Phengodidae.

Amphibians on the Menu

Sep 28, 2017
An juvenile Black Rat Snake.
Brad Carlson [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Immature Black Rat snakes will eat amphibians. The adults feed on birds and mammals.

The "Moss Animal"

Sep 27, 2017
A freshwater Bryozoan colony.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

A freshwater bryozoan colony will only thrive in clean water.

Coral Beans

Sep 26, 2017
Mature Coral Bean seed pods.
Katja Schulz [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Coral bean is a native plant. Its red, tubular flowers grow on tall stalks in the spring, drawing hummingbirds and butterflies. In the fall, coral bean's seed pods begin to mature turning dark, almost black, and then splitting open to reveal shiny, scarlet red seeds nestled inside. All parts of this plant are poisonous, so be sure to keep them away from kids and pets.

Azaelia Caterpillars

Sep 26, 2017
Red-headed Azalea caterpillars
Thomas Stromberg [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Azalea caterpillars eventually become Daytana moths.