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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Charles Cardale Babington   1 July 1837

St John’s Coll: Cambridge

July 1. 1837.

Dear Darwin

I returned here yesterday evening & found your letter lying upon my table. Will you tell Hope that I have only one insect from Australia, that is K. Georges Sound. It is an Hydroporus allied to 12–punctatus but smaller & less marked with yellow. I will endeavour to complete a description of it during the following week & send it to you for Hope.1 I have only one species from New Zealand, it appears to be an Hydrobius. From Terre del Fuego the species are more numerous, namely, a small & imperfect specimen of Hydrobius, (a single specimen of Corixa,) 4 specimens of a very pretty species of Hydroporus allied to lineatus, 5 species of Colymbetes, allied respectively to our pulverosus, femoralis?, & oblongus.

I am sorry to say that I have been prevented from examining the insects with care, but propose doing so & drawing up the descriptions after the long vacation. I have been very fully employed since you left Cambridge & am now on the point of starting for Jersey where I intend to pass the greater part of this month, & next in botanicaal research. I will however endeavour to comple[te] the K.G.S. species for Hope & leave it with you or Waterhouse as I pass through town. I propose sending my complete account of your Insects to the Entoml. Society when finished,2 but will not do so if you wish any other plan to be adopted. Still I think that that is the best place for them.

Believe me yours truly | Charles C. Babington


In the Hope Entomological Collections, University Museum, Oxford, a manuscript note in Babington’s hand, describing Hydroporus darwinii Bab. is attached to CD’s letter to Frederick William Hope, [21 June 1837]. A revised and expanded version of the note is printed in C. C. Babington 1841–3, p. 13.
A note by CD in DAR 118: 19 indicates that Babington undertook to describe CD’s ‘Water insects from all parts of the world’. On 4 June 1838 Babington read a paper at the Entomological Society in which he described mainly South American species of Dytiscidae collected by CD (C. C. Babington 1841–3). No New Zealand species is described; five are from Tierra del Fuego.


Reports on the insect specimens [collected by CD] from Australia, New Zealand, and Tierra del Fuego. Has not completed descriptions.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Cardale Babington
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
St John’s College, Cambridge
Source of text
DAR 29.1: C3
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 363,” accessed on 20 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2