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Letter 6382

Darwin, C. R. to Walsh, B. D.

21 Sept 1868

    Summary Add

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    Thanks BDW for pamphlets [by S. H. Scudder and J. D. Caton].

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    His information about Cicada is of extraordinary interest. Discusses stridulation organs which certainly sometimes differ in the sexes. CD would be curious to know if "dumb" Cicada can breed.


Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Sep 21 1868

My dear Sir

I am very sorry that my book has never reached you, & so is Mr Murray, & he has proved his sorrow by sending off at his own cost by post this day another copy.

I have much to thank you for: I have been glad to see Dr Scudder's pamphlet (returned by this post) though it does not contain much.

Judge Caton's pamphlet is really admirable, & I have found in it much useful for my work.

Pray thank Mr Riley for the extract about the peach trees. I have much pleasure in enclosing my photograph for him; but I do not like to take the liberty of applying to Prof. Westwood for his photograph.

I am particularly obliged for your information about the stridulating organs; these certainly sometimes differ in the two sexes, but how far this is general I am unable to say.

Your investigation about the Cicadas possesses extraordinary interest & the map will be a curiosity. How odd it is that individuals do not migrate from one area into another, & thus cause apparent confusion in the periods.

I see that Scudder states that the Orthoptera stridulate differently by night & day; may not the ``forced'' Cicadas be dumb from coming out when the average temperature is too low; it wd be curious to ascertain whether the dumb individuals can breed.

With most sincere thanks for all your kindness— Believe me yours very truly | Ch. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 6382.f1
    See letter to John Murray, 16 September [1868], and letter from John Murray, 18 September [1868].
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    f2 6382.f2
    CD refers to a work by Samuel Hubbard Scudder on the stridulating organs of Orthoptera (Scudder 1867; see letter from B. D. Walsh, 29 August 1868 and n. 14). CD used information from Scudder's paper in Descent 1: 353, 356, and 2: 331; CD mistakenly cited it as being from the April 1868 issue of the periodical, rather than from the October 1867 number (see Scudder 1867).
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    f3 6382.f3
    For CD's use of Caton 1868, sent to him by Walsh, see the letter to J. D. Caton, 18 September 1868 and nn. 2--5.
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    f4 6382.f4
    For Charles Valentine Riley's article on peach trees, see the enclosure to the letter from B. D. Walsh, 29 August 1868; Walsh had also asked whether CD could send Riley both his photograph and John Obadiah Westwood's.
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    f5 6382.f5
    See letter from B. D. Walsh, 29 August 1868. For more on CD's recent investigations into stridulating organs, see the letter to A. R. Wallace, 16 September [1868] and nn. 2 and 3.
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    f6 6382.f6
    See letter from B. D. Walsh, 29 August 1868.
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    f7 6382.f7
    Scudder wrote that the day and night songs were different only in some species; see Scudder 1867, pp. 309--10, for the differing songs. On the `forced' cicadas, see the letter from B. D. Walsh, 29 August 1868.
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