To Miss Holland1 [May 1856]2
My dear Miss Holland
Fortunately for my entomological credit, a first-rate Entomologist has been staying with me, to whom I showed the pupa which you sent me, & he says it would turn into one of the Lackey moths, probably the Eriogaster lanestris.—3 Last summer moths & butterflies abounded in an unprecedented degree, & entomologists attribute this abundance, I believe rightly, to the great destruction of birds during the winter previous to that just passed;4 & the scarcity of birds saved many caterpillars which otherwise would have been devoured, & hence the numerous cocoons on your Hawthorn Hedges.—
Emma demands the rest of this note,5 so pray believe me, dear Miss Holland, yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin
An entomologist who has been staying with CD [T. V. Wollaston] says the pupa she sent would turn into a lackey moth.
Adds that the great destruction of birds in the winter preceding the last is probable cause of survival of caterpillars and resulting numerous cocoons.