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Mole kingsnake

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Rudy Mancke helps a listener identify a snake they found under some plywood in their yard.

Transcript (edited for clarity):


Hi, this is Rudy Mancke from USC for NatureNotes.

Elizabeth in Traveler's Rest, SC, turned over some plywood, saw a snake, and was wondering what in heaven's name it was. Took me a while to figure this one out. It's a dark color phase, of what's called a mole snake or a mole kingsnake.

They burrow in the ground, that's the reason for the name. Feed on small vertebrates, they're non venomous constrictors. You don't see them a lot on the surface. They hide under things, and they're also very good burrowers.

One of the true kingsnakes, so mole kingsnake is probably is the perfect name for it.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's <i>NatureScene</i>, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, 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. After retiring from SCETV, Rudy went on to become naturalist-in-residence at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. He hosted SC Public Radio's <i>NatureNotes</i> from 1999 until his death in 2023 at age 78.