Content about nature

A Green Crowned Slug caterpillar.
Benny Mazur [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Don't try to touch any variety of slug caterpillars you may find. They sting!

An Ant Lion.
Larry and Teddy Page [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Ant Lions are common in South Carolina. Before the undergo metamorphosis they are commonly called Doodle Bugs. As with the caterpillar and the butterfly, the differences between the larval and the adult stages are striking.

A Midland Water Snake, Nerodia sipedon pleuralis.
Peter Paplanus [CC BY 2.0], viaFlickr

Water Snakes are often mistaken for Copperheads because some Water Snakes' colors are similar to those of the Copperhead. However, the pattern on the water snake is always narrow on the sides and wide near the backbone. This is the opposite of the pattern found on the Copperhead.

An Eastern Snapping Turtle.
rickpilot_2000 [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The Eastern Snapping Turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in South Carolina.

American Goldfinches, male (left) and female
Ken Thomas [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Most American Goldfinch usually pass through South Carolina and nest farther north. But, there has been an increase in the number who are nesting here instead.

Pandorus Sphinx, Eumorpha pandorus, Durham, North Carolina, United States
Patrick Coin [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Listeners have reported many sightings of this beautiful moth.

"Water Turkeys"

Sep 4, 2017
An Anhinga.
Wknight94 [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Then Anhinga is sometimes called a Snake Bird, or a Water Turkey because of its long neck.

Beech Blight Aphids

Sep 1, 2017
Grylloprociphilus imbricator - Beech Blight Aphids, on American Beech (Fagus grandifolia).
Fritz Flohr Reynolds [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Beech Blight Aphids have a nickname: Boogie Woogie Aphids.

Spittle Bugs

Aug 31, 2017
A spittlebug nymph, paritally uncovered.
imarsman [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

The Spittle bug nymph blows bubbles in sap to hide under.

Just when we thought coding schools were becoming passé with the closing of the Iron Yard and other schools, we came across one company who is bullish on the industry and is moving quickly to fill the vacuum left by those who exited.  And they’ve planted a beachhead here in South Carolina.

Mike Switzer interviews Tom Wilson, chief technology innovation officer and an instructor at JRS Coding School in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Lampshade Spider

Aug 30, 2017
Lampshade spider (Hypochilus pococki) at Oconaluftee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Swain County, North Carolina, USA
Ryan Kaldari, public domain. via Wikimedia Commons

When viewed from the side, hanging under a rock, this spider's web reminded a listener of a lampshade. Its common name: Pocock Lampshade spider. They commonly build their webs under overhangs and in caves.

A listener reports finding a really large katydid.

Green Dragon

Aug 28, 2017
Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium)
Tie Guy II [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Green Dragon has one leaf that divides into up to 17 leaflets.

Immature White Ibis

Aug 25, 2017
At sunrise, an adult white ibis teaches her child the fine art of synchronized foraging along a mud flat. These two were part of large flock that spent the night on Munyon Island at John D MacArthur Beach State Park in Florida.
Bob Peterson [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The immature White Ibis will eventually molt into white plummage.

A juvenile Southern Black Racer.
Kevin Enge/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

The adult Striped Racers are black. Juveniles have a blotch pattern.

Brown Widow Spiders?

Aug 23, 2017
A Brown Widow spider.
Roy Niswanger/Flickr

Yes, there are Brown Widow spiders, as well as Black Widows, living in South Carolina. Both are harmful to humans.

Century Plants

Aug 22, 2017
Agave americana in bloom.
Alvesgaspar [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not all of the plants we call Century plants live for 100 years. However, they are long-lived. 


Aug 21, 2017
The path of the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse.

A total solar eclipse, visible in South Carolina, is an opportunity to study the sun.

Spiny Backed Orb Weaver
Markrosenrosen/Wikimedia Commons

This remarkable spider is native to South Carolina.

A Cicada Killer Wasp with a Cicada.
Bill Buchanan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

These solitary wasps rarely sting a human being.

The Snake and the Frog

Aug 16, 2017
Eastern Garter snake, Florida.
Glenn Bartolotti via Wikimedia Commons

This common snake was found in a pool near Columbia, along with  a bullfrog.

A Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell turtle.
James Harding/

The Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell turtle is more common that the other Softshell found in South Carolina, the Florida Softshell turtle.

The Devil's Walking Stick in flower.
James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society,

This plant is common on the fringe of woodlands, often on roadsides.

A Giant Leopard moth, Hypercompe scribonia, 1.25 inches long, in Austin, Texas.
Ronnie Pitman [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

Listeners report sightings of several of the distinctive moths living in South Carolina.

A Land Planarian.
Martin LaBar [CC BY-NC 2.0], via Flickr

Several listeners have reported sightings of these odd looking creatures. The Land Planarian is a non-native species.

Neoclytus acuminatus - Red-headed Ash Borer, one of the many beautiful wood boring beetles in the Cerambycid group. Collected in Prince George's County, Maryland.
USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

The Ash Borer beetle lays its eggs in dead, dying, or freshly cut trees.

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

These dark-colored spiders, common in South Carolina, have a singular look.

A Writing Spider with its egg sac.
Joyous! [CC BY-NC 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Having matured through the summer, many spiders in South Carolina are ready to mate.

The trunk of a Hercules Club tree, in Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Chesapeake Bay Program [CC BY-NC 2.0], via Flickr

Hercules Club tree, also known as a devil's walking stick or prickly ash, at Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

Lizard Sightings

Aug 2, 2017
Six Lined Racerunner.
Tom Gill [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr

The Eastern Fence Lizard eats insects and spiders

, as does the Six-Lined Race Runner.