Introduction to Foldscope & Magnified Mosquitoes

Hello Foldscope Community!

I am thrilled to join this group of microcosmos explorers. In this post I will share some results from my first experience using Foldscope. However, before I get into what I found, I would like to thank Manu Prakash for his kindness & generosity in introducing me to Foldscope and this wonderful world of little discoveries!

My Findings:

I collected a seemingly mundane mosquito off a windowsill. To the naked eye, it may read as just a speck of color– a crumpled little beige form. However, a look through the Foldscope tells a much more interesting story. Up close you can see its anatomy is compact and complex.

I took photos of the mosquito’s antenna, abdominal segments, wing, and leg.

abdominal segments
abdominal segments
leg (femur and tibia)
lateral head paired with drawing
lateral head paired with drawing

Lastly, I included a lateral photo of the mosquito’s head. Since illustration is an important part of my life, I thought it would be fun to pair this photo with a quick drawing I made to highlight what I saw.  As emphasized by the drawing’s arrow, I especially like the upright tuft of bristles on top of the mosquito’s head!

I look forward to improving my ability to observe, photograph, and explore through Foldscope.

On a related note, I found the Stanford Tardigrade Project’s post “How to Find Tardigrades (Water Bears) in Your Own Backyard” very inspiring! I collected some mossy samples in the hopes of finding some tardigrades myself… If I do find any new micro-friends, I’ll be sure to post it.


Rebecca Konte

4 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    @Rebecca Wow what an illustration! Welcome to the group. You might be interested in the camera lucida that helps lesser mortals like myself try our hand at illustrating microscopic images.
    Cant wait to see more illustrations– find the tardigrades soon.:)

    1. RebeccaKonte says:

      Hello @Laksiyer, thank you for such kind words! 🙂
      Yes, I am quite excited about that Foldscope function, it looks like a brilliant way to make drawing what you see easy and fun. Also, hahaha no— there is no such thing as lesser mortals in art! I always love to see other people’s drawings, regardless of their abilities, it’s a great way to see someone else’s perspective. Hopefully I will find some tardigrades soon, if I do I will definitely post it here!

  2. Manu Prakash says:

    @Rebecca: Fantastic – absolutely beautiful observation. Love the illustration and I want to also play with mosquito illustrations.

    One suggestion is to also try “regular” glass slide. You will see your resolution improve significantly. We use plastic/tape slides because we have lots of kids involved.

    Also; here are some more mosquito posts:

    Also; a very useful post you should read to also do imaging is follow this post about focus locking carefully:

    Looking forward to reading more posts from you – I believe you can really inspire a lot of foldscope users to take on art as a means to express your observations.


    1. RebeccaKonte says:

      Thanks, Manu!

      It’s great to hear from you!

      I just read the posts you linked—they’re fantastic. I also came across another post of yours, “Bubbles propagating in proboscis of a live mosquito.” The more I read in the microcosmos, the more intrigued and inspired I become. (The proboscis post has me especially excited for the mosquitoes I already have trapped…)

      I’ll be sure to try a glass slide & play with focus locking in my next endeavor. I look forward to improving as I go on. Also, I think I will just make it a habit to include some illustrations to supplement any observations I post.

      This is truly a wonderful community, thanks again for getting me involved!


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