Never posted a forum before forgive me.
I’m a complete newbie with a mobile microscope from Austria. No formal education. One person finally convinced me to try to communicate with the community.
I am sensitive and shy but very willing to learn proper method.
Just now I posted a number of microscope images I’m hoping are enough to ID deeper than just genus for professionals. May I ask for critique for what may help more? I also have a macro lens…
I try my best to take images in my area that are relevant or important and encourage my friends to give me content to work with. With dates and locations attached.
I appreciate and have a mild understanding of the sciences… and methods… however taxonomy I am very blind to. I’d like to understand and learn how to give better microscope images that would be beneficial. I’d also like to provide beneficial macro images with my SLR, not just artistic shots.
Any guidance or tips are heavily appreciated.
I have no training, professional or otherwise, and am not super smart or anything. The microscope itself would honestly confuse me.
My opinion on this, is that if the pictures you are uploading can show evidence of an organism, it’s beyond sufficient. If it’s not the actual organism, but cells of one, I wouldn’t be able to identify anything from it, but that’s a reflection of my lack of knowledge, so others probably could still take that and run with it.
In summary, if it’s evidence of an organism, that’s perfect. And if you enjoy doing it, that’s even better than perfect, which is like, super crazy.
Also, if you want to improve the quality, and you’re doing trying to improve the quality because that’s what you want to do, then that’s great too, but I am just saying that any evidence is valid and good.
I absolutely adore my microscope and love looking into random patches of dirt for springtails and similar.
It’s incredible… This think costs about 50 Euro and I can look into a patch of dirt that looks like nothing and suddenly see dozens of souls and activity.
I’d need to ask my partner for the exact model but it was mostly inexpensive and has been a joy to work with. It was purchased from amazon. Take my memory with a grain of salt but I recal somewhere saying it was 1000x
I am both curious but would love to provide media that would be scientifically beneficial. I have content of what I must guess are springtails that are outright not visible to the naked eye amongst other things.
I guess I have fancy tools, and if anyone with higher experience or needs want me to find something specific I’d gladly do my best.
No formal education but it’s an absolute joy… how much i’ve learned already from basic tree fungi to that bagworms are moths. Also helped document hours and hours of a finch with an avian lesion disease that supposedly was helpful. I have a 24/hour camera that caught this bird in multiple stages of this growth which I am more than willing to share to anyone curious.
Long story short… a nobody with no formal education but hours uppon hours of bird content…I checked, saved and doccumented any activity of this bird which lasted a few months. before presumably it passed away.
Not really sure what to say…
Myself I am an extreme science and animal education advocate and my partner is a tech genie
High end mics, to 24/hour cams to microscope images and beyond.
I admit my understanding of the sciences are minimal but I have so much tech to work with due to my partner… I can’t help but assume someone might appreciate the reports?
If any group or person wants a rather wide variety of tech from 4hour cams to private SLR footage… I’m a nobody with no true citations to my name… credit or not I’d love to provide best I can.
That’s what I meant by asking for… suggestions on what would help? for Tirol Austria?
Pardon the multi replies, a little over excited.
Aye yes, any evidence is good. But I have tools that potentially could provide above average abilities to identify species. I understand the antenna and the rear of the abdomen of “fruit flies” is beneficial for ID for example?
It’s just I am a layman with rather fancy tools and I’d like to provide to the community with them the best I can, not just “evidence” but if a certain angle or something else is needed, to tweak for that.
More or less I’m a dumbass with fancy tech… please tell me what’s needed and I’m more than ecstatic to provide.
It’s pretty easy to learn, see what you already meet, e.g. insects, find out a local key for them and see which parts are needed for id, is it base of the wing, venation, bristles here or there, colour of mouthparts, hairs on abdomen, shape of leg segment or everything in once, different groups require different things. Just tech can’t do anything as it’s not alive, so start with something easy and go up in difficulty. Look up topics about insect id/photography, you at least need 3 views of an insect: dorsal, ventral, lateral, often frontal, at least that ill help a lot.
It really depends on the observation as to what aspects are needed.
But with your microscope images, better light would be helpful.
With macro shots of Diptera, try and get angles from top/side/front if you can.
Yes I can even directly associate that to my artwork studies.You need a front, side and 3/4 view to have a decent idea of your subject. Perfectly understand.
A little difficult with the tool I’m using but trying to provide those views
I potentially could blast more light, still have the specimens intact.
Been using a mix of a mobile microscope with forward light, a backdrop of a tracer plate meant for animation. May be able to gain more detail in photoshop. Agree the light is too low. Trying to figure out how to improve.
If you head any headlight, it’s bright enough to use as a light source for microscope.
The microscope I use is WIFI to Mobile based
It was partly a gift of a partner but can confirm it’s available on amazon?
I am familiar to your usual microscope needing a backlight which I have available. Yet this device claims 1000x without need of backlight which is mostly correct. I have more than enough extra light I could potentially blast… but if there is a particular method I’m unaware of for Fly ID I’m more than happy to throw a try?
No, it’s not for backlight, it’s for light itself. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/68742782 https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/46021638(it’s with regular mic. as I have no normal dissection one to use)
Pardon… my scientific understanding isn’t fantastic. I visually somewhat understand what is needed from what you linked but I’m still somewhat guessing.
Regardless of that I hold specimen by number, by request if more images are needed I will provide. If there is any need for any specimen I’ll glady try to photo whatever method you need… admittedly while a bit blind to the methods
Pinning might help you manipulate to get the angles you want ( good overview on how to start pinning Diptera here ). Bear in mind with particularly complex taxa like Sciaroidea and Chalcidoidea though, you are unlikely to be able to take them far easily, even with good detail as keys might not exist. For those taxa with keys, the details you need will really depend on the genus/family, some might go to species from abdominal or wing markings, but most Diptera need specific bristle detail and key on aspects which are impossible to predict - you just need to work through the key with the specimen in front of you.
Again, as I said you can (and really need to learn what you observe and id) open any key and find out characters that are needed for fly id if we talk about flies, with that you can use Google or glossary like https://diptera.info/infusions/terms/terms.php to help with finding out specific terms. Because microscopes are used to id harder stuff, so it’s kinda expected you already know what is needed to id without miscroscope.
I’m right there with you. I’ve never been good at science, like at all, but have always loved nature and animals. I try to use iNaturalist as a way to help contribute to people who do understand science, and also to help my kids be not as bad at science as I am. Both my kids are already much smarter than I ever have been, and I’ve had direct confirmation before that my observations have been useful, so that makes it all beyond what I hoped for.
Pardon my absolute… newbie-ism
I understand every later stage deep into a taxa has a “rule” as in “This taxa has these traits xyz to qualify”
is there a… layman/above average layman… source to compare to what is required to get lower down the tree?
I understand the basic concepts of the evolutionary try and why harvestmen are not spiders for example…
is there a layman resource to know the basic requirements of a genus or even species?
Tried pinning/taxonomy… just entering into it now.
Something so small i am unsure of but I have taxidermed both bats and some larger spiders currently?
Keys, as I said, are what show you that, there must be a big book for your country that has keys for families and genera, might be outdated for some groups, but it’s ok to start.
No children myself but perfectly with you!
While I may not have kids myself I have a niece that is very curious about me… I try to encourage to not be scared to arachnids haha