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.

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A Mean Looking Fly

20 hours ago
A Scorpion Fly.
Bob Warrick, via Wikimedia Commons

  The Scorpion Fly looks like a tough customer, but, it doesn't sting people.

Giant Orb Weavers

Jul 27, 2016

A Hilton Head Island listener finds a Giant Orb Weaver spider, nowhere near its web.

Red Spotted Purple butterfly.
Ltshears, via Wikimedia Commons

As the name implies, the top of the Red Spotted Purple butterfly's wings are...purple. 

Traveling Salamander

Jul 25, 2016
An Eastern Newt in the "red eft" stage.
Jason Quinn, via Wikimedia Commons

  The Eastern Newt, in its immature, "red eft" stage, actually leaves the water and travels around before returning to mature into an adult.

An Eastern Lubber grasshopper.
Derrickchapman,, via Wikimedia Commons

    A listener reports the yearly visits of the Eastern Lubber grasshoppers to her yard.

Moth Rescue

Jul 21, 2016
Imperial Moth
Lizmillea, from Wikimedia Commons

A listener finds a moth laying eggs in a dangerous place and attempts a rescue.

"Camo" Wings

Jul 20, 2016
Ilia Underwing Moth
John B./Flickr, via Wikimedia Commons

The overwings of an Illia Underwing moth can cover the underwings to help it blend in with its surroundings.

The pupa of some moths pupate in the ground.


Jul 18, 2016
Green Lynx Spider
Keegan Morrison via Wikimedia Commons

Listeners report sightings of green lynx and trapdoor spiders.


Strange-Looking Bug

Jul 15, 2016
A Wheel Bug
Ragesoss via Wikimedia Commons

Adult Wheel Bugs are good to have in your garden, because they love to feed on caterpillars.

Witch Hazel Aphid galls.
John Cooper, via Wikimedia Commons

As you might guess, the Witch Hazel Aphid causes galls to grow only on that plant.

An Island of Birds

Jul 13, 2016

  A listener reports a variety of bird species, all nesting on the same island.

A Tamarisk tree in Israel.
Ian Scott, via Wikimedia Commons

  The Tamarisk tree is sometimes called the "Salt Cedar" or the "Fire Cedar," and originated in the Mediterranean.

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

  A listener renovating an old pool find some snakes. Theses Midland Water Snakes are non-venomous, and the listener plans on re-locating them.

Oxidus gracilis, the greenhouse millipede, is native to Asia, but now found all over the world as an invasive species (thanks largely to imported greenhouse plants, hence the name). This one was found in the woods in Maryland, summer of 2006.
Matt Reinbold, via Wikimedia Commons

A listener reports finding millipede each morning on the outside of his house.

Snakes in the Pool

Jul 7, 2016

  A Lexington listener finds two species of snakes in his pool.

An Intricate Bird Nest

Jul 6, 2016
This small Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest from the previous season was found on the ground at the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center. The nest is made of lichens, hair and spiderwebs.
Hannah Sutton/USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, Maryland

  The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher uses lichens as some of its nest-building materials. The lichens offer a natural camouflage.

Birds Under the Bridge

Jul 5, 2016
Cliff swallows nesting under a bridge.
Marlin Harms, via Wikimedia Commons

  The cliff swallows have evolved into sometime-users of man-made objects, like bridges, as places to make their amazing nests of mud.

The larva of a lacewing butterfly. The dead carcasses of its prey together with its molts and dirt is massed on its body to camouflage.

What in the world is that fuzzy thing crawling by?  It's the larva of the lacewing butterfly, practicing some clever camouflague.

Wood Stork perched on tree at the marsh lands of Florida.
Paul Brennan

A visitor to South Carolina spots a big bird with a long beak perched in a pine tree and wants to know what it is.