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

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Wheel Bug Eggs

9 hours ago
The egg mass and some newly hatched wheel bugs (Arilus cristatus).
Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

Wheel bugs prey on caterpillars and beetles, such as Japanese beetles, the cabbage worm, orange dogs, tent caterpillars, and the Mexican bean beetle, all of which they pierce with their beak to inject salivary fluids that dissolve soft tissue.

A double-crested cormorant
DaPuglet [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) is a member of the cormorant family of seabirds. Its habitat is near rivers and lakes as well as in coastal areas, and is widely distributed across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico.

Netted Chain Fern

Mar 25, 2020
Netted Chain fern
NC Wetlands [CC BY 2.] via Flickr

This species is native to the southeast United States, but ranges all the way up the East Coast of the United States and Canada to southern Nova Scotia. It favors moist, sandy, acid soils, and has appeared in areas in the interior of the US around acid mine seeps, thus being one of the few species to benefit from acid mine drainage.

Eastern Hognose Snake

Mar 24, 2020
Eastern hognose snake
John Brantmeier [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

The defensive behavior of this non-venomous snake makes it seem a threat to humans. It is not.

Red Winged Blackbird

Mar 23, 2020
A Red-Winged Blackbird
Curt Hart [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is a bird of the family Icteridae found in most of North America and much of Central America.

Spring Peepers

Mar 20, 2020
Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

The spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) is a small chorus frog widespread throughout the eastern United States and Canada. They are so called because of their chirping call that marks the beginning of spring.

Happy Vernal Equinox

Mar 19, 2020
SC Public Radio

It's the first day of spring!

Hooded Merganser

Mar 18, 2020
A hooded merganser
Ellen & Tony [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

A Lowcountry resident spots some "duck-like" birds on a small pond...

Mystery Feather

Mar 17, 2020
A black vulture
Tony Hisgett [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a feather on the street in Oconee County...

SC Public Radio

A listener shares an impressive list of birds spotted in his backyard during his Backyard Bird Count.

Leaf-Footed bug
cotinis [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Leaf-Footed bugs can be a pest to gardeners.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), Greenville County, South Carolina
David Hill [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Yes, you can find "disjunct" populations of Mountain laurel in pockets on the coast of South Carolina where the micro-climate is just right.

SC Public Radio

Rudy shares a first-hand observation of a parasitoid/host relationship.

Camel Crickets

Mar 10, 2020
A male camel cricket.
Jenn Forman Orth [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Camel crickets are found all over the world.

SC Public Radio

Rudy shares some meaningful words by John Muir and by Ri