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

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.

Sweet Autumn Clematis

Sep 30, 2019
Sweet Autumn Clematis
Jan Haerer from Pixabay

Sweet Autumn Clematis was introduced to South Carolina.

Mystery Plants

Sep 27, 2019
SC Public Radio

There are several plants growing this time of year that listeners have asked Rudy to identify.

SC Public Radio

A listener shares the story of  the labors of a Common Thread Waisted wasp's labors.

Saddleback Caterpillar

Sep 25, 2019
Saddleback caterpillar
Gerald J. Lenhard, Louiana State Univ / ©, via Wikimedia Commons

The saddleback caterpillar, Acharia stimulea is primarily green with brown at either end and a prominent white-ringed brown dot in the center which resembles a saddle. It has very potent stinging bristles at each end and along the sides.

American Woodcock

Sep 24, 2019
An American Woodcock
Ricky Layson, Ricky Layson Photography,

The American woodcock (Scolopax minor), is most often found on the ground in brushy, young-forest habitats, where the its plumage provides excellent camouflage.