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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-508

To G. R. Gray  [June–October 1839]

My dear Sir

Will you be so good as to give my servant the skins of the Merulidæ Anthus;1 as I want to look at some of them.— and likewise the stuffed specimen of Upucerthia,2 as I forgot yesterday to measure its beak.— I will not forget to try to negotiate the specimen for you from the Soc. Zog.—

From what I see of the localities of the Anthus’es I almost suspect they will all turn out one Species.— I will look over the specimens with my notes & see whether I can get any aid from habits.—3

With respect to the Falkland Emberiza,4 I can give little assistance 1919 ] 1919 “shot in same large scattered flock on the hills” 1920 1922 female But 1920 & 1923 & 1879 “I think more commonly occur on the plains” I put mark of ? to 1923 whether different species or not.—5

In another part of my catalogue I say I saw 1046. & 1047. together

My specimens were shot in March, corresponding to September, & this is all the very little inform: I can tell you—6

Believe me | Most truly Yours | Chas. Darwin 12 Upper Gower St

Tuesday—

Footnotes

1
Described in Birds, p. 85.
2
Uppucerthia dumetoria, is described in Birds, p. 66.
3
Three species of Anthus, all previously known, are described (Birds, p. 85). Two others were considered identical to Muscisaxicola nigra, a new species to which Gray gave his name (ibid., p. 84).
4
Birds, pp. 95–6. Gray identified two new species as Chlorospiza? melanodera, G. R. Gray and Chlorospiza? xanthogramma, G. R. Gray.
5
The extracts were taken from CD’s ornithological notes (DAR 29.2: 33; Ornithological notes, p. 233).
6
CD’s entry in DAR 29.2: 4–5 reads: 1046 Emberiza. March. 1833. East Falkland I. 1047. d[itt]o. Perhaps the Male of the last bird, but they were not shot together: I saw them however subsequently together. They are by far the commonest land bird in the Islands.— Ornithological notes, p. 213, omits ‘I saw … together.’

Summary

Asks for some Anthus skins to examine [for Birds]. Fears they may turn out to be all one species. Sends details from his notes on Falkland Island specimens.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-508
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Gray, G. R.
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
British Library (Egerton 2348: 235–6)
Physical description
3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 508,” accessed on 1 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-508

letter