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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Frederick Smith   28 June 1862

Brit Museum

June 28th. 1862.

My dear Sir

I have seen Mr. Walker this morng. and he gives me the names of the two species—〈Tetrastichus Diaphantus and the little fellow with dark fasciæ on 〈the〉 wings is Coleothrips fasciata1 Many thanks for the Volume on the Fertilization of Orchis which I have just received—2 what 〈a〉 most interesting subject. I 〈    〉 just had from the 〈Journal〉

believe me | Yours very Sincerely | Fredk Smith

CD annotations

1.2 Diaphantus] ‘this is the common one’ interl ink
Top of page: ‘Hymenoptera caught on Musk Orchis’ ink 3 *S1 !alignleft!CD note:4 *S2 *Mr. Waterhouse [circled ink]5 This is minute Beetle with pollinia of Musk Orchis—


The reference is to the entomologist Francis Walker (see letter from Frederick Smith, 27 June [1862]). See also n. 3, below.
The names of Frederick Smith and Francis Walker are both on CD’s presentation list for Orchids (see Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix IV).
George Howard Darwin had recently begun observing, on his father’s behalf, the insects that entered the flower of the green musk orchis, Herminium monorchis (see CD’s notes of these observations, dated 22–7 June 1862, in DAR 70: 32–6; see also DAR 70: 31, 37). CD reported George’s findings in the German translation of Orchids (Bronn trans. 1862, pp. 47–8 n.; see the second enclosure to the letter to H. G. Bronn, 30 June [1862]). He later published them in ‘Fertilization of orchids’, p. 145 (Collected papers 2: 142), stating that Tetrastichus diaphantus was the most common of the minute Hymenoptera that visited H. monorchis, and that the Hymenoptera identified in the paper had all been named for him ‘by our highest authority, Mr. Frederick Smith’ (‘Fertilization of orchids’, p. 142; Collected papers 2: 139).
CD’s note is on a scrap of paper that was pinned to the letter.
CD probably refers to the entomologist, George Robert Waterhouse, who was keeper of the geology department at the British Museum.


Has seen Francis Walker, who has identified CD’s two Hymenoptera species ["caught in Musk Orchis" – CD note].

Letter details

Letter no.
Frederick Smith
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
British Museum
Source of text
DAR 177: 195
Physical description
1p damaged †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3625,” accessed on 18 September 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10