NatureNotes

Mon-Fri, throughout the day

Naturalist Rudy Mancke, host of ETV's NatureScene, shares his knowledge of plants and wildlife each weekday on NatureNotes. These 1-minute snippets offer you a chance to find out about diverse topics having to do with the natural world. From the inner workings of our world's ecosystems, to plants & animals unique to South Carolina, to tips on beautiful sites to visit, you'll learn more about the world around you on NatureNotes.

Contact Rudy Mancke

Cicada Killer Wasps

12 hours ago
A cicada killer wasp with a cicada.
Bill Buchanan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Adult eastern cicada-killer wasps are large, 1.5 to 5.0 centimetres (0.6 to 2.0 in) long, robust wasps with hairy, reddish and black areas on the thorax (middle part), and are black to reddish brown marked with light yellow stripes on the abdominal (rear) segments. The wings are brownish. Coloration superficially resembles that of some yellowjacket and hornet species.

Painted Buntings

Jul 31, 2020
A male painted bunting
Dan Pancamo [CC BY-SA 2.0]

The painted bunting (Passerina ciris) is a species of bird in the cardinal family, Cardinalidae, that is native to North America. The bright plumage of the male only comes in the second year of life.

Cassis tuberosa (king helmet snail), San Salvador Island, Bahamas
James St. John [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener reports finding the beautiful shell. Cassis tuberosa, the king helmet, is a species of very large sea snail with a solid, heavy shell.

Kudzu Bugs

Jul 28, 2020
Kudzu bugs, Santee National Wildlife Refuge, Santee, North Carolina
Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Megacopta cribraria, also called the bean plataspid, kudzu bug, kudzu beetle, globular stink bug and lablab bug, is a shield bug native to India and China, where it is an agricultural pest of lablab beans and other legumes.

A southern copperhead.
Tom Spinker [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

The copperhead is one of South Carolina's two venomous snakes. Rudy shares some tips on how to make the enviroment of your yard less attractive to them.

Cliff Swallow Nests

Jul 24, 2020
Cliff swallows nesting under a bridge.
Marlin Harms, via Wikimedia Commons

Cliff swallows build gourd-shaped nests made from mud with small entrance holes. They build their nests tightly together, on top of one another, under bridges or alongside mountain cliffs. Living in large populations, these aerial insectivores use extensive vocalizations to communicate warnings or food availability to the other individuals.

Eastern narrow-mouthed toad
Missouri Dept. of Conservation

Gastrophryne carolinensis, the eastern narrow-mouthed toad, is a species of microhylid frog. It is a relatively small, toad-like amphibian found in damp, shady habitats. While not a true toad it is so called because it is terrestrial. It is found in the United States, from southern Maryland to the Florida Keys, west to Missouri.

Grass Carp Teeth

Jul 21, 2020
The phayngeal teeth of an Aisian Grass Carp.
Ohio State University Bio Museum

A listener finds the pharangyl teeth of a grass carp. The grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) is native to eastern Asia. It is cultivated in China for food, but was introduced in Europe and the United States for aquatic weed control.

Pine-Oak Gall Rust

Jul 20, 2020
pine-oak gall rust
Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Eastern gall rust, often called pine-oak gall rust can seriously hinder hard pine production in nurseries, plantations, and natural stands.

Banded Sphinx Moths

Jul 17, 2020
Banded sphinx moth - Eumorpha fasciatus
Richard Crook [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Eumorpha fasciatus, the banded sphinx moth, is a moth of the family Sphingidae. The species was first described by Johann Heinrich Sulzer in 1776. It is found from northern Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, north through Central America (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) to southern California and southern Arizona, east to Texas, Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina.

Tulip Trees

Jul 16, 2020
A tulip tree leaf
Stanley Zimny [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Liriodendron tulipifera is sometimes referred to as tulip tree, tulip poplar or yellow poplar, and the wood simply as "poplar", although not closely related to the true poplars. Other common names include canoewood, saddle-leaf tree, and white wood.

Maple Eyespot Gall

Jul 15, 2020
Maple eyespot gall
Colleen Prieto [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

Acericecis ocellaris, known generally as ocellate gall midge, is a species of gall midges in the family Cecidomyiidae. Other common names include the maple eyespot gall and maple leaf spot gall.

A black vulture
Tony Hisgett [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener near Star, SC, finds a vulture nesting in an old cow stall. The black vulture (Coragyps atratus), also known as the American black vulture, is a bird in the New World vulture family whose range extends from the southeastern United States to Peru, Central Chile and Uruguay in South America.

Rustic Sphinx Moth

Jul 13, 2020
A rustic sphinx moth
Loco Steve [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Manduca rustica, the rustic sphinx, is a moth of the family Sphingidae. The species was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1775. It is found in the southern parts of the United States (straying into the northern United States at times), southward through Mexico, Central America and South America to Uruguay.

The elongate cannibal snail is sometimes called the rosy wolf snail.
Dylan Parker (Flickr) via Wikimedia Commons

Euglandina rosea, common names the rosy wolfsnail or the cannibal snail, is a species of medium-sized to large predatory air-breathing land snail, a carnivorous terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Spiraxidae. It is an invasive species.

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