Rudy Mancke


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

Eastern Hognose Snake

9 hours ago
Eastern hognose snake
Sturgis McKeever, Georgia Southern University,

The Eastern Hognose snake, Heterodon platirhinos, is found from eastern-central Minnesota, and Wisconsin to southern Ontario, Canada and extreme southern New Hampshire, south to southern Florida and west to eastern Texas and western Kansas.

Some Words for Autumn

Oct 17, 2019
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares some favorite verses about one of his favorite times of year.


Oct 16, 2019
Witch-hazel blossoms
Ruth Hartnup [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The name witch in witch-hazel has its origins in Middle English wiche, from the Old English wice, meaning "pliant" or "bendable", and is not related to the word witch.

Glowworm Beetles

Oct 15, 2019
An adult, male Glowworm beetle.
Jennifer Krauel [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

The beetle family Phengodidae is also known as Glowworm Beetles; their larvae are known as glowworms. The females and larvae have bioluminescent organs.

Contracted Daytana Moth

Oct 14, 2019
Contracted Datana moth
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The Contracted Datana, is a moth of the family Notodontidae. It is found from Maine to Florida west to Arkansas and Wisconsin.

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

A listener reports finding two juvenile snakes, one inside his house. He handled both carefully - which was a very good idea!

Black Rat Snakes

Oct 10, 2019
A juvenile Black Rat Snake.
Brad Carlson [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Black Rat Snakes, recognizable by the black blotches on their gray skin, are out this time of year. They are non-venomous.

White Ibis

Oct 9, 2019
At sunrise, an adult white ibis teaches her child the fine art of synchronized foraging along a mud flat. These two were part of large flock that spent the night on Munyon Island at John D MacArthur Beach State Park in Florida.
Bob Peterson [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The American white ibis (Eudocimus albus) has overall white plumage, a bright red-orange down-curved bill and long legs, and black wing tips that are usually only visible in flight.


Oct 8, 2019
Bernard DuPont, France [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

The Lovebug (Plecia nearctica) is a species of march fly found in parts of Central America and the southeastern United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. It is also known as the honeymoon fly or double-headed bug. During and after mating, matured pairs remain together, even in flight, for up to several days.

Nessus Sphinx Moth

Oct 7, 2019
Nessus Sphinx moth
Men in Black [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

The Nessus sphinx, Amphion floridensis, is a day-flying moth that lives throughout the eastern United States and Canada and occasionally south into Mexico. It is one of the more commonly encountered day-flying moths in the region, easily recognized by the two bright-yellow bands across the abdomen.

An Imperial Moth caterpillar.
Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

This time of year, these horned caterpillars are quite large.

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

Some listeners find a Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar that is about to pupate.

Sea Pens

Oct 2, 2019
Atrina pen shell bivalves on a marine beach in Florida
James St. John [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds some shells on the beach at the Isle of Palms...

Orchard Spider

Oct 1, 2019
An Orchard Orbweaver Spider, Jekyll Island, GA.
gailhampshire [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

This small orbweaver has red markings, but, it is not a problem for people or pets.