Spore prints have been an integral, fun, and beautiful part of mycology for hundreds of years. Historically, they were used to help identify fungi species since the classification of fungi families were largely dependent on spore color.
The 19th-century Swedish mycologist, Elias Magnus Fries, is credited as the first to emphasize spore color as an identification feature.
Of course, today, we know that spore color alone isn’t enough to identify a particular mushroom species.
Nonetheless, spore prints are incredibly helpful. Under a microscope, the shape, surface texture, and patterns of how the spores fall are all apparent. These factors, along with a mushroom’s appearance, size, and location, are all crucial identification markers.
What better way to learn more about magic mushrooms like psilocybe cubensis than with a spore print?
A spore print is essentially the unique “stamp” or “fingerprint” of a mushroom. It’s a collection of microscopic spores captured onto a medium like aluminum foil, paper, or another material.
Spore prints can be made into amazing works of art. They can be stored for later use and study, too. That said, we believe spore syringes are superior, especially as a storage method for microscopy research. We’ll explain why a bit later.
So, what’s the difference?
While a spore print is an imprint made with spores captured onto a surface, a spore syringe is a sealed vessel filled with millions of spores suspended in a sterile solution.
Let’s take a look at how to make spore prints before we get into the benefits of spore syringes for researchers.
Whether you want to make your own mushroom spore sprint for art, storage, or research purposes, the process is relatively simple. You don’t need any special equipment or advanced experience, either.
All you need is a few tools and materials, as follows:
Once you’ve gone foraging in the wild to find some fresh, mature mushrooms that aren’t deteriorating, you’re all set to make your first mushroom spore print!
Here’s what you need to do:
There you have it! Your very own mushroom spore print! You can make various works of art, build up your research collection, or simply enjoy making spore prints as a hobby.
There’s no denying that spore prints have research, identification, and even creative value. They’re amazing and, as you’ve seen, super easy to make.
But spore syringes are valuable, too, only for different reasons.
If you’re wondering whether psilocybe cubensis spore prints or spore syringes are better for research purposes, here are a few things to consider:
Although spore prints are commonly used to store spores, they’re not as foolproof or secure as spore syringes.
More often than not, the process of making and keeping a spore print can inadvertently expose the spores to harmful bacteria. This can happen no matter how careful you are or how clean your environment is.
It’s simply impossible to control the countless variable factors that go into making, storing, and using spore prints. Microscopic mites and dangerous bacteria are typical culprits of ruining spore prints in storage.
Conversely, spore syringes like the ones you’ll find at our online store are sealed in a sterile vessel. They protect the millions of spores contained inside from any external factors like bacteria, microscopic insects, and temperature changes.
Spore syringes are much easier to handle in a lab environment, too. You can dispense spores directly onto your slides more accurately, without wastage, and with less chance of contamination than spore prints.
Ultimately, though, it’s a matter of personal preference. If you haven’t already, why not try psilocybe cubensis spore syringes and see the benefits for yourself?