Content about nature

The "Brain Thing"

Sep 5, 2018
Aplidium stellatum (Verrill, 1871) - sea pork in Florida, USA.
James St. John [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

A listener finds a "weird looking, 'brain thing'" on the beach...

Robber Fly (Triorla interrupta) preying on a Dragonfly (Plathemis lydia).
Thomas Shahan [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A listener is a witness to a fight between two predators.

Midland Water Snake, Lancaster, SC, 2004.
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

These snakes look a bit like Copperheads, but, are no venomous.

A Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar.
Bob Warrick [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This menacing-looking Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar is actually harmless, and is the larval form of the Regal, or Royal Walnut moth.

"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.

Mating Moths

Aug 28, 2018
Polyphemus Moth
Organic, via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spies some mating Polyphemus Moths.

The caterpillar of the Giant Swallowtail butterfly
TokyoJunkie via Wikimedia Commons

The appearance and behaviour of this caterpillar helps to deter predators.

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.

Preparing your business for investment and learning how to pitch to investors is a skill that our next guest says every entrepreneur must master.  Whether your company is in the concept stage or up and running and growing, he says learning how to convey your business message to potential investors is critically important.

Mike Switzer interviews Matt Dunbar, managing director of VentureSouth in Greenville, SC.

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.

Dark Fishing Spider

Aug 2, 2018
The Whitebanded Fishing Spider, Dolomedes albineus.
John [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

This spider is one of the largest found on the state.


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...