Wants examples of insects (especially Diptera) in which embryo resembles adult, to show that the metamorphic stages may be lost.
Down Bromley Kent
You were so kind as to say that you would help me.—
Can you give me any case of an insect, which apparently does not undergo a metamorphosis,—which does not pass through the vermiform stage. I think Dufour or some one states in the pupiparous Diptera or some other Diptera, that at earliest stage at which anything can be discovered, the embryo resembles the adult.— This is the case with Arachnidæ, but I want such a case in Insecta, merely to show that the metamorphic stages may be lost.
By the way how is it in Aphis; is not the young, as soon as anything can be seen, an
Aphis & nothing but an Aphis, whether produced by true or gemmiferous
generation? This has only this moment occurred to me, & would suffice if
true.—but the Dipterous case w
I hope London has answered to you &
We hear that the Railway is to come to Farnborough: is this true?—
Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin
- f1 2426.f1Dated by Lubbock's reply (letter from John Lubbock, 15 March 1859).
- f2 2426.f2See letter from John Lubbock, 8 February 1859, which is now incomplete.
- f3 2426.f3A reference to Léon Jean Marie Dufour's work on dipteran embryology (Dufour 1845). CD had made notes on this paper in relation to his chapter on the laws of variation (see Natural selection,pp. 573–4). See also letter to John Lubbock, 16 [March 1859].
- f4 2426.f4CD did not use Diptera to illustrate his point about the loss of metamorphic stages in insects but cited Aphis instead (Origin, p. 442). See letter from John Lubbock, 15 March 1859, and letters to John Lubbock, 16 [March 1859] and 21 [March 1859].
- f5 2426.f5Ellen Frances Lubbock.
- f6 2426.f6The Mid-Kent Railway Company had financed a short railway extension from Beckenham to Lewisham, along what was known as the Farnborough extension. The line had opened for business in 1857, but Farnborough never became a station on it. In 1859, there was a movement to finance a further extension from the Crystal Palace station, near Penge, to Norwood, which may have included Farnborough. The line was not constructed due to financial disagreement with the Brighton Railway Company in 1860. See Bradshaw's shareholders' guide, railway manual, and directory 1859 and 1860. John William Lubbock, John Lubbock's father was director of the Mid-Kent Railway and CD was a major debenture holder (see Correspondence vol. 6).