skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From H. W. Bates   20 May 1868

Royal Geographical Society | 15, Whitehall Place, S.W.

May 20 1868

My Dear Mr Darwin

I think I can get ♂ & ♀ of the Onitis furcatus & also males & females of two or three species of Geotrupes at Mr Janson’s (Dealer);1 he has promised to oblige us, but I must go to his place to select them as soon as I can spare an hour

Yours sincerely | H W Bates

These insects are very cheap—a few pence each for the more curious Geotrupes with conspicuous sexual differences— Would you like more than one or two species?

CD annotations2

3.2 species?] ‘Named, or I cd get [4 words illeg]pencil
End of letter: ‘(Janson will you pay. Or ask him to send account.—) Do not hurry

CD note:

[♂ & ♀ in each—]

Onitis [interl]

Typhæus English sp.—

Copris— not the [interl] English species

2 sp. of Geotrupes

& 4 [after del ‘3 or’] *or 5 [interl] other genera or subgenera *— Those wch differ little & [illeg] which the appearance [is sexual] | some differing [more & some differing little by] [illeg] [added pencil]

(Chiosognotis grantii.)

Chiasognath [added pencil]


Onitis furcatus may be a mistake for O. furcifer (see letter from E. W. Janson, 25 May 1868 and n. 11). Onitis furcifer is now Chironitis furcifer. Onitis and Geotrupes are genera of Coleoptera. Bates refers to Edward Westey Janson. No letter has been found in which CD asked Bates for these specimens.
CD’s annotations and his note are notes for his reply to Bates of 21 May [1868].


HWB thinks he can buy specimens of male and female insects at Mr Janson’s.

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Walter Bates
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
R. Geogr. Soc.
Source of text
DAR 160: 83
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6194,” accessed on 20 May 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16