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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Raphael Meldola   12 June [1878]1

From Mr. C. Darwin, Down, Beckenham.

I have received from Weissmann an interesting essay on Daphnidæ (Entomostraca) with bright colours gained, as he believes, by sexual selection.2 He says it makes him believe that Butterflies have thus gained colours. I do not know whether you care about these little Crustaceans.— If you do not care to see it, I shall so understand silence.—


June 12th


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Raphael Meldola, 13 June 1878.
CD had received August Weismann’s third essay in the series ‘Beiträge zur Naturgeschichte der Daphnoiden’ (Weismann 1876–80), entitled ‘Ueber die Schmuckfarben der Daphnoiden’ (On the ornamental colours of daphnoids); a lightly scored copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. Weismann’s group ‘daphnoids’ included genera now placed in the suborder Cladocera (water fleas), and the related suborder Laevicaudata. For Meldola’s interest in translating some of Weismann’s other essays, see the letter from Raphael Meldola, 2 January [1878] and n. 3.


Weismann, August. 1876–80. Beiträge zur Naturgeschichte der Daphnoiden. Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Zoologie 27 (1876): 51–112; 28 (1877): 93–254; 30 (suppl. 1878): 123–65; 33 (1880): 55–270.


Has received interesting essay from August Weismann on sexual selection in daphnoids [“Schmuckfarben der Daphnoiden”, Z. Wiss. Zool. (1878)].

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11551,” accessed on 16 June 2024,