To H. W. Bates 19 February 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Bates
I am in utter confusion; will you kindly clarify my mind.— Westwood divides saltatorial Orthopt. (modern. Class. vol. 2. p. 439)2 into
Achetidæ = ?
Gryllidæ = ?
Locustidæ = ?
Now you speak (amazons vol. I. p. 250) of Achetidæ, Locustidæ & Acridiidæ.— Now will you homologise these families for me, & tell which terms will be most generally understood, which I care more about than which are most strictly correct.3
Again, & more important for me, you say that (p. 252) in the Achetidæ (I suppose of Westwood likewise) “the wing-cases are symmetrical both have straight edges … a distinct portion is not set apart … for sound-producing” … 4
Now how can I reconcile this with Westwood (p. 440) who gives drawing of the two wings which are not strictly symmetrical, one is ♂ & the other ♀ & one of which is furnished “with a distinct portion” for sound producing.—5 Is it that some species of crickets have both wings similar?
I shd. be grateful if you would kindly aid me as far as you can, & excuse me troubling you
Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
Harris places Platyphyllum concavum, the “Katy-did”, in the Gryllidæ, is this the Gryllidæ of Westwood?6
I suppose the “Field cricket” belongs to Achetidæ of all authors.—7
Your Chlorocœtus cannot belong to the Locustidæ of Westwood, but I suppose to his Gryllidæ.8
CD in utter confusion about differences between J. O. Westwood and HWB on division of certain insects. Asks if HWB will homologise certain families for him, telling him which terms would be most generally understood.
Asks also about differences on sound-producing organs of Achetidae Gryllidae.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Bates, H. W.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5895,” accessed on 5 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5895