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 Long "Tailed" Wasp

Nov 17, 2016
An Ichneumon wasp ovipositing through wood.
Richard Bartz, via Wikimedia Commons

Ichneumon Wasps can penetrate wood in order to lay eggs.

A Canebrake Rattlesnake.
Ltshears, via Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina's resident rattlesnake is the Canebrake Rattlesnake.

The caterpillar for the Skiff Moth is green and looks like a seed pod.

A Pink Spotted Hawk Moth.

The Pink-Spotted Hawk Moth is a strong flyer.

A Midland Water Snake, Nerodia sipedon pleuralis.
Peter Paplanus/Flickr

The answer is, "You bet!" The Midland Water Snake is well designed to do just that kind of thing.

An "Eye-Popping" Plant

Nov 9, 2016
Fruit of the Euonymus americanus.
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A visually striking plant when it fruits, the is sometimes called Hearts A Busting, or a Strawberry Bush.

The Hognose Snake

Nov 8, 2016
Eastern Hognose Snake
Wikipedia. Creative Commons License

This snake can flatten its head like a Cobra when threatened; but, it's not venomous.

Two Loons
USFWS/Gary J. Wege

Sometimes, all you need is a single bone to identify a species.

Banded Water Snake

Nov 4, 2016
A juvenile Banded Water Snake.
Wayne T. 'Tom' Helfrich/Flickr

The bands on this snake are particularly distinct in juveniles.

A Living Host

Nov 3, 2016
A Tomato Hornworm parasitized by a Braconid Wasp.
Stsmith (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

The Tomato Hornworm is a caterpillare that often plays host the eggs and pupa of Branocid wasps; in the end, though, it's not a good deal for the caterpillar.

Diamondback Terrapin

Nov 2, 2016
A Diamondback Terrapin
Becky Gregory CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

These reptiles can be found in salt marshes on the South Carolina coastal.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Nov 1, 2016
Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
John Harrison/Flickr

Once you site one of these striking birds, you not likely forget the sight.

Happy All Hallows Eve

Oct 31, 2016

Our modern day "Hallowe'en" has old roots in culture, religion, and nature.

"Just Teeth"?

Oct 27, 2016

A listener finds a "critter" that seems to have no head, to be "just teeth"!

Octopus in a Pool

Oct 26, 2016
A common Octopus.
Beckmannjan, via Wikimedia Commons

A listener spots an Octopus in a tidal pool.

So, other than the coloring, is there a difference between a "white" skunk and "regular" skunk?

The pupa of a Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) Butterfly photographed in a garden in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Lonnie Huffman, via Wikimedia Commons

The pupal stage of the Varigated Fritillary is a beautiful thing!

Strange Looking Bug

Oct 21, 2016
A Wheel Bug
Ragesoss via Wikimedia Commons

The purpose of the "wheel" or "cog" on a Wheel Bug's back is unknown.

Tersa Sphinx Moths

Oct 20, 2016
A caterpillar for a Tersa Sphinx moth.
PiccoloNamek, via Wikimedia Commons

The caterpillars for Tersa Sphinx moths have false eye spots.

The Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly
By Ryan Hodnett (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly used to be called the Green Jacket dragonfly.

Caterpillars of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly.
Galukalock, via Wikimedia Commons

The caterpillars for the Black Swallowtail Butterfly love to feed on members of the carrot, parsley, and fennel families.

A Devil's Walking Stick with fruit.
Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.), via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes called the Devil's Walking Stick, Aralia spinosa, fruits in the fall in South Carolina. One look at the stem give you a clue as to how it got some of its common names.

A Green Lynx Spider guarding its egg sac.
The Marmot/Flickr

If you see a Green Lynx spider this time of year, it will likely be a female guarding its egg sac.

A Velvet "Ant."
Mark Musselman/USFWS

An old name for this insect is a "Cow Killer" ant; some folks call it a Velvet ant. But, it's actually a wasp that packs a painful sting.

A Writing Spider with its egg sac.
Joyous! via Wikimedia Commons

The signs are there, if you take the time to look.

Smooth Earth Snakes

Oct 11, 2016
A Smooth Earth snake.
Greg Schechter/Flickr

Not a common snake in South Carolina, adult Smooth Earth snakes are often mistaken for "baby" snakes because they are so small.

The Glass Lizard

Oct 11, 2016
An Eastern Glass lizard.
Bert Cash/Flickr

A listener finds a strange looking creature that, at first, he thinks is a snake. But, it's a lizard.

A Really Big Slug

Oct 7, 2016
Limax maximus
Didier Descouens, via Wikimedia Commons

The limax maximus is a European slug now thriving in South Carolina. And it is truly one big slug!

Fishing Spider with Egg Sac
Ron Knopik/USFWS

The Fishing Spider catches fish and insects for food. And the female carries its egg sac in her jaws.