If you follow any of my social media accounts you have probably noticed that I have started uploading microscope pictures. Recently, I acquired a fantastic Brunel MX7T microscope for my birthday, it comes with a rotating turret with 20x and 40x magnification (although this can be increased through additional eyepieces).
My primary reason for wanting a microscope was to start an alcohol preserved specimen collection, containing particularly arachnids and myriapods. The vast majority of spiders (and invertebrates as a whole) only have a scientific name, lacking a common name, furthermore most of them can only be identified through microscopic examination.
Observing invertebrates through a microscope reveals all of their complexity and beauty. In fact, it is hard to really appreciate their magnificence without one.
Since I have started using the microscope I feel as though my entomology has achieved a new level and I am very much enjoying the specimen preservation collecting. Specimen collections are a massively important part of entomology, in particular, but zoology as a whole. And if you have an interest in these fields I would highly recommend purchasing a quality microscope and cannot recommend a Brunel enough.
Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and/or Instagram. I post regular wildlife facts, pictures, links and general information. They have essentially become condensed, regular blogs and I massively appreciate all likes, comments and follows. But more importantly, don’t forget to get out there and enjoy the incredible wildlife the world has to offer.
Thanks for reading!
Twitter: Matthew Woodard @ZoologyNotes
Here are a number of pictures of specimens under the microscope some and the species identifying characters. *Disclaimer: I am quite confident in my ability to correctly identify spiders to species level, because they are both my main interest and I possess a very detailed guide of how to do so (including what to look for through a microscope). However, I am still quite new to microscopic identification of other invertebrate groups, so if you spot any mistakes, I’d love to know! All feedback welcome. Thanks 🙂