Ascospores of Sordaria fimicola - photo: Brian Shelton
Ascomycota (Division) - Class Pyrenomycetes)
Another of these exciting dung (coprophilous) fungi . The ascospores of this perithecial species are midnight black. They also have a thin layer of mucilaginous material that envelopes the spore. This is difficult to see in regular microscopic mounts. If, however, you mount the ascospores in India ink (full of tiny black particles) then this reveals the mucilaginous zone as a halo around the ascospores using BRIGHT FIELD illumination. You will always get a halo with Phase Contrast illumination. Click here for more on Sordaria.
PS: The red background is a computer manipulation I used to jazz up the picture!