Balbiani's puzzling observations on Aphis.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
A copy of the Origin for you was sent on Aug 6 through Sampson Low to
Scribner & Co New York; but as this copy is lost I have now
ordered a new one to be sent to Mess
I have rec
I am rather sorry that you are Editor, as I have always heard that an Editor's life is one of ceasless trouble & anxiety.
I believe the reproduction of the Ornithorhyncus is not yet thoroughly known, & recently one little bit of evidence rather favours its being oviparous.
I will send your proposal from D
With respect to Aphis you must not trust my recollection, but Balbiani has shewn that the so-called pseudo-ovum contains a peculiar cell, & this so far is certain. Lubbock finds the same in Coccus. Now this cell according to B. contains spermatic matter & fertilises the other part of the pseudo-ovum.— I have asked 2 or 3 good judges & no one knows what to think, but all agree that B. is an excellent observer. According to this view the viviparous Aphides are all hermaphrodites with the 2 sexual elements in close union, & the oviparous Aphides unisexual.
I shall be glad to receive your paper on galls—
I am tired & not well today—so no more—
Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
- f1 5320.f1The reference is to the fourth edition of Origin. CD's publisher, John Murray, had sent a copy through the publishers Sampson Low, Son & Marston to Charles Scribner & Co., New York (see letter from John Murray, 22 December  and n. 2).
- f2 5320.f2Walsh had earlier asked CD to send the book to Baillière Bros, New York (see letter from John Murray, 22 December  and n. 2).
- f3 5320.f3The 29 September 1866 issue of the Practical Entomologist contained Walsh's article on the naturalised gooseberry saw-fly (Walsh 1866a); CD's heavily annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection--CUL. The other issue has not been found.
- f4 5320.f4Walsh was associate editor of the Practical Entomologist. See letter from B. D. Walsh, [28 November 1866] and n. 4.
- f5 5320.f5Walsh had told CD of a report that the platypus (Ornithorhynchus) was not oviparous (see letter from B. D. Walsh, [28 November 1866] and n. 6). It is not known to what evidence CD refers.
- f6 5320.f6The references are to Jacob W. Velie and to Philip Lutley Sclater. See letter to P. L. Sclater, 24 December .
- f7 5320.f7The section of Walsh's letter of [28 November 1866] discussing the genus Aphis is now missing, but see the letter from B. D. Walsh, 17 July 1866, and the letter to B. D. Walsh, 20 August . CD refers to Edouard-Gérard Balbiani and his study `On the reproduction and embryogeny of the Aphides' (Balbiani 1866). CD's annotated copy of the article is in his collection of unbound journals in the Darwin Library--CUL.
- f8 5320.f8John Lubbock had discussed two species of Coccus in a paper `On the ova and pseudova of insects' and had observed a `vitelligenous cell' containing green granules, which he did not further identify (Lubbock 1858, pp. 363--4). CD's copy of the article, in his collection of unbound journals, is uncut.
- f9 5320.f9See Balbiani 1866, p. 64.
- f10 5320.f10The reference is to Walsh 1866b (see letter from B. D. Walsh, [28 November 1866] and n. 8).