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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. B. Tegetmeier   15 December [1866]1

Muswell Hill

Decr 15

Dear Sir

Thanks for your kind note   it contained precisely the information I wanted2

I hardly know whether you care to read the enclosed—3

When writing to me please return it at your convenience but do not trouble to write purposely.

Yours very truly | W B Tegetmeier

Dr Sclater told me that statement about the Numida ptiloryncha in the last number of the Poultry Book4


The year is established by the reference to the most recent instalment of the Poultry book (see n. 4, below).
CD had supplied Tegetmeier with information on the origin of the domestic duck and goose (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 12 December [1866] and nn. 3 and 4).
The enclosure has not been found. CD returned it to Tegetmeier with his letter of 18 [December 1866].
The reference is to Philip Lutley Sclater. Tegetmeier’s Poultry book (Tegetmeier 1867) was issued in fifteen monthly instalments, the most recent (part 12, pp. 266–88) dated December 1866. CD’s unbound annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL. Tegetmeier wrote that Numida ptilorhyncha, the Abyssinian guinea fowl, was probably the ancestor of the domestic variety (Tegetmeier 1867, p. 288; see also Variation 1: 294). The name is no longer valid, having been subsumed within N. meleagris (Birds of the world).


Thanks for information. Sclater was source of statement about Numida ptiloryncha [as origin of guinea-fowl] in The poultry book [pt 12 (Dec 1866): 288].

Letter details

Letter no.
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Muswell Hill
Source of text
DAR 178: 78
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5309,” accessed on 24 August 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14