Some of you may have noticed that there is now a wide selection of USB microscopes available. A quick search on Amazon, for example, will display a large number ranging from about £20 up to well over £100.
I thought I would try out one of the cheaper models to see if it could be a useful additional tool for helping to identify some of the smaller micro-moths. As well as displaying an enlarged live image on your computer screen, the microscope also has the ability to instantly capture the image - which is saved as a jpeg file.
Obviously, you are reliant on your chosen moth staying still under the microscope while you look at it. If it is a lively individual, you are back to keeping it in a pot and examining it with a hand lens.
My chosen microscope (the Maozua 5MP model listed as a best seller on Amazon) arrived a few days ago, and today I had an Epiphyas postvittana that seemed willing to sit quietly while I studied it. I have posted a couple of the resultant photos below - one image of the whole moth, and one showing detail from the head. I don't think they are too bad for a first attempt.
As the moth season progresses, I will report back on whether I think the USB microscope has been of benefit in helping with micro-moth identification, and hopefully post a few more pictures.
Steve Trigg, Cookham