To J. J. S. Steenstrup 20 May 
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.1 Mr J. Sowerby (the author of Min: Conch:)2 is now drawing your specimens; but from having his hands very full of work he is, I am sorry to say, much delayed: for my own sake I do all I can to urge on his progress. I wait with eargerness to receive your northern Cirripedes & remarks: I am now at work on the Genus Balanus & very difficult I find it, as many species are quite undistinguishable by any one external character. I thank you much for the drawing of Lithotrya: I think I may have the same species from Timor: but the manner of boring here indicated is quite new to me.3
I have heard of your work on Hermaphroditism,4 but have not seen it, though I have long wished to do so; for on merely hypothetical grounds I have always thought Hermaphroditism improbable.5 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.6 I have two cases of bisexual cirripedes, the male differing considerably from the female & being parasitic within the sack of the female.7
Pray believe me With feelings of much respect & gratitude, | Your’s sincerely | C. Darwin
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Steenstrup, J. J. S.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (NKS 3460 4to)
- Physical description
Describes progress in illustration of fossil cirripede specimens. Thanks for answers to questions. Comments on hermaphroditism. Describes his discovery of parasitic male cirripedes.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1330,” accessed on 12 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1330