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Young black racer snake

FILE - A juvenile southern black racer.
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED]
FILE - A juvenile southern black racer.

On today's NatureNotes, Rudy Mancke helps a listener identify a juvenile black racer. While adult snakes of this species are known for their black coloring, young ones can often be multi-colored.

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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.