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.

Ways to Connect

"Biggest Slugs"

Aug 30, 2018
Leopard slug
Nicholas Turland [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

A listener spots two Limax maximus ("biggest slugs") mating. This species is sometimes called the Giant gardenslug, Great slug, Tiger slug, or the Spotted leopard slug.

Big Spiders

Aug 29, 2018
The Golden Silk, or, Banana spider is one of the large orb weavers you might see.
nikoreto [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

This time of year, spiders have grown prettty big; and the females you see are always larger than the males.

The Snake on the Porch

Aug 24, 2018
A juvenile Southern Black Racer
Kevin Enge/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

A listener finds a juvenile Black Racer. The young of these snakes have a blotchy pattern of markings.

House Spider

Aug 23, 2018
The Southern House Spider
Edward L. Manigault [CC BY 3.0 US], Clemson University Donated Collection,

The Southern House Spider lives for two to four years.

SC Public Radio

A listener finds the skeletal remains of a wild turkey.

The larva for the Rustic Sphinx moth, Manduca rustica.
homie00001 [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a caterpillar for a Rustic Sphynx Moth.

The Dobsonfly

Aug 20, 2018
A female Dobsonfly
Andreas McKay [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The female Dobsonfly has strong pincers, though they are smaller than the male's.

The Pine Snake

Aug 17, 2018
A Pine Snake
Glenn Bartolotti [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds a snake that is seldom seen in South Carolina, though they live throughout the state.

Mystery Bird's Nest

Aug 16, 2018
A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest.
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab [Public Domain Mark 1.0] via Flickr

The Blue-Gray Gnat Catcher lives here in the warmer months. They build nests of spider silk or caterpillar silk, and cover them with lichens.

Ghost Shrimp

Aug 15, 2018
A Ghost Shrimp
Ken-ichi Ueda [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

This ghostly-white shrimp burrows in the sand and mud near the edge of the ocean.

Yellowfin Shiners

Aug 14, 2018
Notropis lutipinnis, Yellowfin Shiner, male.
Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

A listener spots bright red fish swimming in a school near Lake Jocassee and wonders what kind they are. The male Yellowfin Shiner turns red during spawning season.

Vaejovis carolinianus - Southern Unstriped Scorpion.
Glen Peterson [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

The Southern Unstriped Scorpion is commonly found in the piedmont and mountains of the state. The Striped Scorpion seems to be moving north into the state, found in the coastal plain.

Trapdoor Spiders

Aug 10, 2018
Trapdoor Spider Fort Bragg, North Carolina, USA.
Patrick Randall [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A Southern Trapdoor spider spotted in the Upstate, unusually, walking across a road.

A Roseate Sooonbill
Charles J Sharp [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

These birds, in no great numbers, are usually found on the coastal plain of South Carolina.

"Fuzz" in the Grass

Aug 8, 2018
Braconid wasp pupae  on a Tomato Hornworm.
Bev Wagar, [CC BY 2.0]

The pupal cases of the Braconid wasp stick together with fuzzy-looking material.

SC Public Radio

A predator-prey drama takes place in Magnolia Gardens...

Gooseneck Barnacles
Alex Derr [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds an odd combination of objects on the beach, Rockweed and Goosneck Barnacles.

A Water Strider.
Tim Vickers [Public domain] from Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds a Wheel Bug "recycling" a Water Strider.


Aug 1, 2018
Gaillardia pulchella, or Firewheel.
© Xavier Caré [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Gaillardia pulchella, or Firewheel, is a southwestern species that has become naturalized to South Carolina.

A Opossum skeleton.
Mariomassone [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds the bones of an Opossum, South Carolina's only marsupial.

A Noisey Bird

Jul 30, 2018
A Gray Catbird.
Matthew Petroff [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

One of the sounds made by the Cat Bird resembles a house cat's "meow."

"The Mockingbird"

Jul 27, 2018
SC Public Radio

The Mockingbird, a poem by Frank Stanton...

Florida Cottonmouth

Jul 26, 2018
An Eastern Cottonmouth snake, agkistrodon piscivorus.
Geoff Gallice, Gainesville, FL; via Wikimedia Commons

This subspecies is not as common as the Eastern Cottonmouth, which is widespread on the Coastal Plain.

Puss caterpillar.
Gerald J. Lenhard, Louisiana State University,

This larva of the Southern Flannel moth is very common in South Carolina.

A common whitetail dragonfly, male.
Bruce Marlin, via Wikimedia Commons

Males of this species have a bright white abdomen.


Jul 23, 2018
Jack-in-the-Pulpit fruit.
Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant that is fruiting.

Eastern Hognose Snake

Jul 20, 2018
Eastern hognose snake
Sturgis McKeever, Georgia Southern University,

These snakes come in various color schemes, but, always have an upturned "snout."

Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) - Carolina Raptor Center at Huntersville, North Carolina
Dick Daniels [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

These birds are more common inland than they use to be.

Eyed Click Beetle, Alaus occulatus
By Henryhartley (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots an Eyed Click Beetle and wonders about the purpose of the false-eye spots.

A Southern Copperhead
Ltshears [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

The Copperhead is more likely to strike when disturbed than any other venoumous snake in the state.