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.

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A northern water snake.
Courtney Celley/USFWS [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Rudy explains how a northern water snake - carefully -  eats a catfish...

Silvery Checkerspot

Oct 14, 2020
Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)
Larry Meade [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Chlosyne nycteis, the silvery checkerspot, is a species of Nymphalinae butterfly that occurs in North America. It is listed as a species of special concern, believed to be locally extinct in the state of Connecticut.

Dark Fishing Spider

Oct 13, 2020
Dark fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)
sankax [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Dolomedes tenebrosus or dark fishing spider is a fishing spider found in the USA and Canada. It is able to bite humans but will run from people. In most cases the bite is no more severe than a bee or wasp sting.

NatureNotes logo
SC Public Radio

Rudy shares some lines from Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey: "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her..."

The golden silk orb weaver, or, banana spider
nikoreto [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Trichonephila clavipes is a species of the genus Trichonephila indigenous to continental North and South America. In the United States, it is commonly known as the "banana spider" and "golden silk orb-weaver".

Pandorus Sphinx Moth caterpillar (Eumorpha pandorus)
Aaron Carlson [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Eumorpha pandorus, the Pandora sphinx moth or Pandorus sphinx moth, is a North American moth in the family Sphingidae. The species was first described by Jacob Hübner in 1821.

Hallowe'en Pennant - Celithemis eponina, Julie Metz Wetlands, Woodbridge, Virginia
Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0] via Flicker

The Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) is a species of dragonfly in the family Libellulidae. It is native to eastern North America, including Ontario in Canada and the United States as far west as Colorado.

A spiny orb weaver on its web
NC Wetlands [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Gasteracantha (known as spiny-backed orb-weavers, spiny orb-weavers, or spiny spiders) is a genus of orb-weaver spiders first named by Carl Jakob Sundevall in 1833. The females of most species are brightly colored with six prominent spines on their broad, hardened, shell-like abdomens. It's easy to identify this spider, even from a distance because of its web.

Eastern Dobsonfly Eggs

Oct 5, 2020
An eastern Dobsonfly and its egg masses
Andreas Kay [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Two listeners noticed white masses in the trees overhanging a creek in Poinsette State Park. These are egg masses of the eastern Dobsonfly.

Brown Anole

Oct 2, 2020
A brown anole
James St. John [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The brown anole (Anolis sagrei), also known commonly as the Bahaman anole or De la Sagra's anole, is a species of lizard in the family Dactyloidae. The species is native to Cuba and the Bahamas. It has been widely introduced elsewhere, by being sold as a pet lizard, and is now found in Florida and as far north in the United States as South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Hawaii, and Southern California.

Cicada Killer Wasps

Oct 1, 2020
A cicada killer wasp with a cicada.
Bill Buchanan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sphecius speciosus, often simply referred to as the cicada killer or the cicada hawk, is a large digger wasp species. Cicada killers are large, solitary wasps in the family Crabronidae. The name may be applied to any species of crabronid which preys on cicadas, though in North America it is typically applied to a single species, S. speciosus. However, since there are multiple species of related wasps, it is more appropriate to call it the eastern cicada killer.

Common True Katydid

Sep 30, 2020
Common true katydid - Pterophylla camellifolia, Nantahala National Forest, Macon County, NC
Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Pterophylla camellifolia , the common true katydid, is a common North American insect in the family Tettigoniidae (katydids). Within the Tettigoniidae, it belongs to the subfamily Pseudophyllinae (true katydids). Other common names include northern true katydid and rough-winged katydid.

Spotted Orbweaver

Sep 29, 2020
A spotted orbweaver.
National Park Service

Neoscona crucifera, a spotted (forest) orbweaver, is an orb-weaver spider in the family Araneidae. It is found in the United States from Maine to Florida in the east, to Minnesota in the Midwest, to Arizona in the southwest, and in Mexico.

A Heterocampa guttivitta larva, of the saddled prominent moth
Forestry Images [CC BY 3.0 US]

Heterocampa guttivitta, the saddled prominent moth, is a species of moth of the family Notodontidae. The larvae feed on the foliage of a wide range of woody plants, including apple, birch, blueberry, dogwood, hazel, maple, oak, sumac and walnut.

A Luna Moth Emerges

Sep 25, 2020
An adult luna moth - Actias luna
Lynette Elliott [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a luna moth, freshly emerged from its cocoon on the ground.