My life as a spreader of false information hasn't started a war yet, so I can't look forward to a city-stopping tour as guest of an allied nation, but it does bother me that I told you one thing only to find, weeks later, that I told you wrong.
Not only didn't I pay attention to the middle of a creature's back. I let myself be dazzled (blame the creature!) till I didn't pay attention to its mouth. If a person doesn't notice a creature's mouthparts and doesn't care whether that creature sucks or chews, that person shouldn't be trying to identify insects. That person should be forced to eat, televised, a bowl of periwinkles in their shells, the only tableware being a silver soup spoon.
If only I didn't have to try to identify, but could just tell you what I see. (If only I looked to see!)
But everyone wants identification, and I have been too impatient to show and tell. And not only that — if it's something like the "Common Brown Butterfly", horrors! Thousands of these made December 2005 a wondrous month here. If only they weren't "common", for no matter how mysterious their lives, no matter that most people on earth have never seen one, well, it's not the same as if I'd told you they were Painted Ladies, is it?
Yet, perhaps you think this is getting away from the main event. Too right!
Revisiting my shame:
The original sin laid naked (7 February), now covered with a brief forward:
Jewel beetles vs. 'bugs' . . . (later) er, vs. my misidentification,
leading to my further parading of ignorance on the 16th, as of today bearing a coat of information at least as impervious to criticism as some I couldn't possibly identify:
What would you call a gathering of Buprestids? *especially if they weren't