Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

Stereo microscope re commendations for spider identification

What magnification is generally required for species level identification? Any other features that are important? Am I going to be able to get a decent microscope for this purpose for under 3 or 4 hundred dollars?

My microscope ...
was $165, I got it ~3 years ago. The magnifications for it are 20-40-80. It has LED lights and a rechargeable battery so can be portable and cordless. The lights however are not so great for looking at/photographing bugs, for that I (and many others) use a couple JANSJĂ– snake lights from IKEA (~$10). With that in mind I could have purchased a less expensive microscope and had the same/similar results (I see a 10-80x one with only a tungsten top light on AmScope's site for $98). I take pictures with mine by holding my camera phone up to the eye piece. So you can get by with paying less if you want to be frugal. If you plan on dissecting very small spiders 120x would be preferable but I've managed to get by with 80x. Edit: Also just want to let you know I'm the same Laura that just accepted your friend request on Facebook.

Thanks, Laura!
Thanks, Laura!

brown recluse
I live in Louisiana. Brown, leggy spiders are everywhere. Looked at the pictures of brown recluse. How do you make a distinction? I often see one somewhere in the sunroom. Since we occasionally sleep in there, a little creepy. Also is it true (one of our college kids info) that spiders crawl in your mouth while you sleep!

A thread about ...
microscopes is not the right place for this question. Feel free to submit an image of your suspected Recluses to ID request, also spiders do not want to crawl in your mouth.

In the future please start your own thread. Welcome to BugGuide!

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.