Describes progress in illustration of fossil cirripede specimens. Thanks for answers to questions. Comments on hermaphroditism. Describes his discovery of parasitic male cirripedes.
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Sir
I thank you very sincerely for your last letter which answered all my long list of
questions quite fully & satisfactorily.
I have heard of your work on Hermaphroditism, but have not seen it, though I have long wished to do so; for on merely hypothetical grounds I have always thought Hermaphroditism improbable. Alas I cannot read Danish at all, & German with extreme difficulty. How much shame does your perfect English cause me!— You will perhaps be interested by hearing that I once found a Balanus which had had its probosciform organ cut off & healed absolutely imperforate, & yet the ova had been impregnated & contained larvæ; some of the neighbouring individuals in the cluster having certainly impregnated these ova. I have two cases of bisexual cirripedes, the male differing considerably from the female & being parasitic within the sack of the female.
Pray believe me With feelings of much respect & gratitude, | Your's sincerely | C. Darwin
- f1 1330.f1See letter to J. J. S. Steenstrup, 3 April .
- f2 1330.f2See letter to Robert Fitch, [28 January 1850], n. 4.
- f3 1330.f3Lithotrya nicobarica. For its manner of boring, see Living Cirripedia (1851): 336–47.
- f4 1330.f4Steenstrup 1845a. In Living Cirripedia (1851): 55 n., CD referred to Steenstrup 1846 and thanked George Busk for providing him with an English translation from the German. He recorded having read this work on 28 November 1850 (DAR 119; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV).
- f5 1330.f5Living Cirripedia (1854): 271. CD doubted that animal hermaphrodites fertilised themselves; he believed cross-fertilisation was necessary between two such organisms (see Natural selection, pp. 42–6). His work on the sexual relationships of cirripedes was critical in establishing this belief (ibid., pp. 44–5).
- f6 1330.f6See the description of specimens of Balanus balanoides from Tenby, South Wales (Living Cirripedia (1854): 101–2).
- f7 1330.f7Ibla cumingii and Scalpellum ornatum (Living Cirripedia (1851): 189–203, 248–53).