There is a quote circulating on Facebook that basically says that you are doing science wrong if you don’t make mistakes; that you are doing science REALLY wrong if you don’t correct those mistakes; and you AREN’T DOING SCIENCE at all if you don’t accept that you’re mistaken.
Well, in the past week I have posted twice about photographing jumping spiders that were prowling around on my kitchen screen door hunting for insects (see part 1; and part 2). In my posts I identified the spiders as zebra jumping spiders (Salticus scenicus). However, I noted that the two specimens I photographed had different markings and suggested that the darker spider might have been a male.
Nope, I was wrong. It turns out that the darker spider is a different species: Platycryptus (probably P. californicus). It also turns out that what I thought were mosquitoes were actually non-biting midges (chironomids). Sigh.
I have re-edited both posts and corrected these mistakes. Many thanks to Ciphor on the arachnoboards forum for helping with the spider identification; and to John Carr on the dipteral.info forum for correcting my misidentification of the midges.
I must be doing GREAT science!