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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   13 September [1854]

Down Farnborough Kent

Sept. 13th

My dear Sir

I thank you much for your two notes & am quite sorry that you shd. have had the trouble of writing two.— This note requires no answer & can give no trouble.— As Leydig seemed a puzzler to reach, I have sent a copy to Kölliker instead of to him, & to C. Vogt,1 & now all my copies are gone, & once again I thank you for your very valuable assistance.

I write now chiefly to say that if time & inclination leads you to look at any Balanus, do pray look at cementing apparatus, I am sure you wd. find it curious & worth looking at, & I shd. much like some naturalist to see it.2 If you are so inclined do not look at the coast Bal. balanoides, but a (young) white Balanus Bal. crenatus common on crabs & shells from deepish water: remove shell, leaving [c.] basis attached, & then dissolve it with its calcareous support in weak acid, then look with compound microscope & see antennæ of pupa, wonderful cement-glands & cement-ducts.

If you do anything more, do look at my acoustic vesicle,3 eyes & nervous system in the large Bal. perforatus so common at Tenby. I have only casually looked at these parts in these species.—

My dear Sir | Pray believe me | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin

Pray give to whomever you like, the second copy of my Book which you have.—4

If you stumble on Scalpellum vulgare do look at the Comp. Males.—


Franz von Leydig, Rudolf Albert von Koelliker, and Carl Vogt. See letters to T. H. Huxley, 2 September [1854] and 8 September [1854].
Huxley examined and dissected cirripede specimens during his stays at Tenby in 1854 and 1855 (see letter to T. H. Huxley, 29 [September 1855]). In 1857, he published a lecture on the Cirripedia (T. H. Huxley 1857), in which he tentatively endorsed CD’s views on the connection between the cement glands and the ovaria (p. 239): Mr. Darwin conceives that the cement apparatus is a peculiarly modified part of the ovary, and he considers that the ova originate in the “true ovaria,” and pass down their ducts into the ramified cœca of the peduncle. Now, the author of the “Monograph” appears to me to prove that … the cement gland and its duct are continuous with the ramified peduncular tubes, and … are modifications of different parts of a continuous organ. Nor have I any objections to urge against this doctrine; my own dissections of Lepas, while they have not enabled me absolutely to trace these parts with one another, rather favouring the conclusion that they are thus connected. He did not, however, believe that the gut-formed glands were the true ovaria, as CD maintained, but held that they were accessory glands and the peduncular tubules were the ovaria. See also Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix II.
Living Cirripedia (1854): 95–7. In T. H. Huxley 1857, p. 239, Huxley stated: ‘While bearing testimony to the faithfulness with which Mr. Darwin has described the general structure of these organs (at least in Conchoderma virgata, in which I have had the opportunity of carefully examining them), I must confess I do not feel quite satisfied as to their function.’
Huxley had recently become a member of the Ray Society.


Thanks for help on presentation copies of Living Cirripedia, vol. 2.

Suggests he examine cementing apparatus of Balanus.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 16)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1592,” accessed on 29 April 2017,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5