Lichen Photmicrography by Ultra Violet Light

Back in 2018, after successfully testing the retrofitted epi-fluorescence Lomo Lumam microscope (see link on homepage) , I was searching for an interesting follow up for the test images I made with moss. The answer was lying in the middle of the street: a loose branch with moldy bark completely covered with algae, lichens and moss. I used the opportunity to give it a closer look; in The Netherlands at this time of the year the amount of interesting plant material is limited. Lichen are well known for their ability to with-stand harsh climate conditions, and can be found everywhere nowadays (also in unexpected places like the middle of the city or in industrial plants). One or two decades ago this used to be different, I get the impression that the efforts to reduce air pollution has lead to this positive result.

Under the microscope at low magnification an interesting miniature world can be seen, including inhabitants like small mites spiders and tiny worms that cannot be seen with the bare eye. The first three images I took with a Leitz Orthoplan microscope and a 4x objective. In this setup a DSLR camera is looking through the microscope eyepiece -like an eye- producing an image on the camera sensor. In the first 3 pictures I’ve used a red led light combined with white reading lamp, to create a bit more of a 3-dimensional image.

The next few images were all done with the fluorescence microscope and show a very different picture. Besides the surprising colours produced by fluorescence induced radiation, also new details pop up.   The Russian emission filter has not got a narrow bandwith (also called a long-pass filter), therefore various wavelengths of radiation are visible.

Determination: probably Xanthoria polycarpa (2 & 4) and Physcia tenella (3) and Xanthoria parietina  (6). (1) looks somewhat different compared with (2), with deeper and more narrow crevices.

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