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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 26 May 1855]

If any of your readers could obtain for me some eggs of the Lacerta agilis,1 I should be greatly obliged. Lizards are most widely distributed, and I want to ascertain whether the eggs will float in sea-water, and, if so, whether they will retain their vitality. A reward of a few shillings (which I would gladly repay as well as postage) offered to schoolboys, would perhaps get these eggs in the proper districts collected. Ch. Darwin, Downe, 2 Farnborough, Kent.


One of the three species of lizards found in Britain. It inhabits the south of England and is very scarce.
The spelling of the village name was variable. ‘Down’ was the commonest form up to the 1870s and ‘Downe’ thereafter. CD nearly always used ‘Down’.


Will be obliged if any reader can provide eggs of lizard Lacerta agilis. Wants to ascertain whether they float in sea-water. Offers reward of a few shillings to boys for collecting.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Gardeners’ Chronicle
Sent from
Source of text
Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 21, 26 May 1855, p. 360

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1686A,” accessed on 21 October 2019,

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