Taking a Spore Print

There are two main reasons for making a spore print; to identify the species of a particular fungus; or, to capture the spores for purpose of propagation in order to create a new strain of a selected species.

Identifying fungi from morphology alone can be very difficult. By determining the characteristics of the spores you are better able to categorise a specimen. This can be as simple as observing the colour of the spores from a spore print or you could view the spores under microscope to determine their size and shape.

If you are taking spores to culture a new strain a few more precautions are necessary to limit the risk of contamination. Here is the simplest way to take a spore print of an agaric mushroom (cap and stem type of fruitbody). Variation apply depending on mushroom morphology.YT


  • tinfoil
  • zip-lock/sealable bag


  • scalpel/knife
  • glass/bowl


  • Carefully cut the cap from the stipe/stem.
  • Place the cap, gills facing down on a piece of tin foil that is more than twice the size of the cap.
  • You may need to cover the cap with glass or bowl, for two reasons to reduce airflow and/or prevent the cap from drying out. However, this is usually not an issue if you a taking the spore print of a fresh specimen in a clean room with little airflow.
  • Leave 12 to 24 hours. Remove the cap.
  • Carefully fold the print in half and then fold in the edges before placing into a sealable plastic bag
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