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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Johannes Peter Müller   10 February [1849]

Down Farnborough Kent

Feb. 10th.


I trust to your kindness to excuse the liberty I take in addressing you, which I do at the suggestion of Dr. Philippi.—1 I am employed on a Monograph, Anatomical & Systematic on the Cirripedia & I have minutely examined almost every genus except Alepas. Dr Philippi informs me that he deposited specimens from Scicily of this genus with you at Berlin, & he thinks that you would be willing to assist me by allowing me to dissect one.—2 If necessary I cd return all the parts after dissection.— Should it be in your power, & you feel inclined, I shd be very grateful for the loan or gift of any specimens from out of the way localities. There is a small Scalpellum (or Pollicipes) from Scicily, which I have not seen:—3 Also Anatifa villosa4 from the Mediterranean, both of which perhaps may be in Dr Philippis collection.—

I find that the anatomy of the Cirripedia has been most imperfectly done; nearly all the most striking features in their organization having been overlooked.— Their classification is likewise a perfect chaos, as must be the case until the whole body of every species be examined, as I am now doing.— If you are willing to assist me with a specimen of Alepas (for which I am most anxious) or with any other specimens, you could send them directed to “C. Darwin Esqe. 7. Park Stt.— Grosvenor Sqre. London”.— If the parcel be very small you might perhaps send it through the ambassador, Ch. Bunsen,5 who has most kindly forwarded several parcels from me to Prof. Ehrenberg,6 to whom I beg to send my most respectful compliments.—

With my most sincere respect | I beg to remain | Sir | Your faithful servant and admirer | Charles Darwin To | Professor J. Müller


Müller evidently lent CD specimens of Alepas minuta (Living Cirripedia (1851): 161 n.).
No specimens of either Scalpellum or Pollicipes from Sicily are described in Living Cirripedia (1851, 1854).
CD listed Anatifa villosa as a dubious species and suspected that it was ‘the young, in a state of variation, of L. anatifera’ (Living Cirripedia (1851): 373–4). Apparently he received no specimens of A. villosa from Müller.
Christian Karl Josias Freiherr von Bunsen, Prussian ambassador in London, 1841–54.
See Correspondence vol. 3, letters to Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg, 21 May [1845] and 29 October [1845]. Ehrenberg analysed the Infusoria in rock and soil specimens for CD and provided information on the conditions in which the formations were laid down.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Living Cirripedia (1851): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Lepadidæ; or, pedunculated cirripedes. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1851.

Living Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Balanidæ (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidæ, etc. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1854.


Requests JPM’s assistance by lending or giving him cirripede specimens. The anatomy of cirripedes has been most imperfectly done, and their classification is a perfect chaos.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1224,” accessed on 22 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4