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Letter 1509

Darwin, C. R. to Hancock, Albany

30 Mar [1853]

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    Thanks AH for assistance. Compares Alcippe to South American boring cirripedes.


Down Farnborough Kent

March 30th

My dear Sir

I am much obliged for your note received this morning, with as full answers as you could send to my queries, & for a former note received some time since with excellent remarks on the classification of Alcippe. I have been very troublesome, but shall cause no more; & am truly obliged for all you have for me. If in your power, I am sure you will kindly in course of summer get me a few specimens for the British Museum & for distribution.—

I yet have a few specimens of other cirripedes of yours, in my possession.—

I have now finally finished with my S. American boring cirripede; & this has utterly confounded my previous confusion how to rank Alcippe & it; for they present some most remarkable similarity, for instance they are both bisexual, with the males remarkably alike.—& yet in what I must consider their fundamental organisation, & in their metamorphosis, they are so totally unlike that I cannot place them in the same order!

My classification does not satisfy myself, nor, I fear, you if you ever look to my volume on this point.

Pray believe me | My dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | Ch. Darwin

The bosses on the cirri of Alcippe are hardish or crustaceous, they are all four opposed to each other & the little ridges on them are crenated; these facts made me suspect that their use was not for simple prehension, but for triturating the food; & now I find in my analogous S. American burrower, & in no other cirripede that the œsophagus is provided with the most beautiful discs set with teeth, & brushes of hairs, worked by muscles, certainly for triturating food; which strengthens my notion.—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1509.f1
    Letter from Albany Hancock, 25 February 1853.
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    f2 1509.f2
    For the South American boring cirripede, Cryptophialus minutus, CD felt compelled to create a new order, Abdominalia (Living Cirripedia (1854): 563–6). Alcippe lampas was classified as a genus of the Lepadidae. See letter to Albany Hancock, 10 February [1853], n. 3. In modern classifications of the Cirripedia, Alcippe (Trypetesa lampas) and Cryptophialus are placed in the same order, Acrothoracica, but in separate sub-orders through having an incomplete or complete gut, respectively.
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    f3 1509.f3
    See Living Cirripedia (1854): 543–4. The ‘bosses’ are there called ‘protruberant buttons or cushions’.
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    f4 1509.f4
    Living Cirripedia (1854): 577–8.
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