From Frederick Smith 26 February 1858
26th Feby 1858.
My dear Sir
Your ant with the bright red head is as you suspect the F. sanguinea—the other is F. rufa.1 Sanguinea may be known readily by examining the facial area which is dull or semiopake— in F. rufa it is 〈 〉sing & more angulated— [DIAGRAM HERE] frontal area frontal area
I should think it is rather too early for predatory attack, when I saw a foray of the kind it was when the nest of F. nigra had pupæ of workers in it—2 just now I suspect only larvas or pupas of males & female are to be met with—you will have the best chance Morng or Eveng during the 〈rest〉 of the day, you will not see anything of the kind—a dull day is as good as Morng or Eveng — 3
I have before me a comb of a Sps of Polistes,4 and in this as in all combs in which a separate foundation is laid for each cell—the hexagonal form rises from a cup-shaped foundation5 so that the origin of each angle begins at the same point of the curve and therefore if the cupshaped base is removed—the basal edge must be [DIAGRAM HERE] in nests of some Brazilian wasps. (Polybia)—the first comb is protected by an outer covering thus— [DIAGRAM HERE] on this covering the next layer of cells are built and here I have seen hexagonal bases to the cells, the walls rising at once perpendicular from the angles6
believe me, yours f〈aithf〉ully | Fredk 〈Sm〉ith
Identifies an ant described by CD and discusses the predatory habits of Formica sanguinea.
Describes some wasps’ nests.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2226,” accessed on 25 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2226