Amateur microscopy is a fantastic hobby—it’s educational, fun, and relatively inexpensive to start participating in. However, you do need a minimum level of equipment quality and some general know-how, especially if you’re working with exotic mushroom spores.
In this brief article, you’ll learn the basics of how amateur microscopists successfully observe mushroom spores under their microscopes. You’ll also be provided with short descriptions and links to many of our detailed resources about the amateur microscopy hobby, especially pertaining to fungal taxonomy and spore observation.
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need to Observe Mushroom Spores?
At bare minimum, to observe viable mushroom spores, you will need a microscope capable of 400X magnification.
You will also want to pick up other tools and accessories that you may need, such as microscope slides, eyedroppers, equipment cleaning equipment, and gear for yourself such as latex gloves to prevent contaminating your specimens.
Of course, you will also need to pick up a few exotic mushroom spore syringes!
To learn (a lot!) more about microscopy as a fun hobby, see the following section:
Additional Resources for Amateur Microscopists Interested in Fungal Taxonomy
Our team at Quality Spores has published a lot of great articles for amateur microscopists. To learn more about observing mushroom spores under your microscope, the biology of fungi, and hobbyist microscopy in general, we recommend checking out some of the following resources.
A great starting point is our three-part introduction series for beginners in the amateur microscopy space; you’ll learn just about everything you need to know in order to get started in this unique, fun, and educational hobby. See the series here:
We also highly recommend reading our introduction to photomicrography guide. Many amateur microscopists eventually find that they want to be able to take pictures of their subjects. This guide explains how you can take pictures of your mushroom spore specimens using your already-existing microscopy equipment:
You may also want to review the best practices for properly storing your spore syringes. Liquid spore syringes are typically quite durable and last a long while, but you can maximize the chances you have of maintaining viability during long term storage by following our guide here:
Finally, you may want to pick up a few of our top amateur mycologist book selections to further your knowledge. To see what professional microscopists are getting up to and the future potential of microscopy as a whole, read about some of the most mind-blowing advances in microscopy.
Lastly, make sure to follow the Quality Spores blog—we’re frequently publishing new and exciting articles for amateur microscopists!
New to the Amateur Microscopy Hobby? Enjoy a Free Copy of Our Mushroom Spores eBook
Want a shortcut to amateur microscopy and fungal biology knowledge?
Download a free copy of the Quality Spores eBook now.