Entomologists Retract New Spider Species Discovery After Determining It Actually Just Clump Of Dust, Hair

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Apologizing profusely for failing to properly confirm their findings before going public, researchers from the Entomological Society of America retracted Tuesday their claims about the discovery of a new species of spider last week, admitting that the supposed arachnid was actually just a clump of dust and hair. “We definitely got a little ahead of ourselves on this one,” said ESA president Michael P. Parrella, noting that the specimen in question, Latrodectus graucus, “absolutely looked like a real spider” and even appeared to scurry away when approached by humans, though this behavior was later attributed to a slight draft from a partially open window. “Shoot, guys. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. We noted in our paper that the cephalothorax resembled a coffee bean, and, well, sure enough, it was. The whole team was shocked when I tried to pick it up and it kind of just fell apart. Live and learn, I guess.” At press time, the researchers had decided to release the wad of detritus back into the wild “just in case.”

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