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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Albany Hancock   15 [April 1850]1

Down Farnborough, Kent,


My dear Sir,

I ought to have sent you a line sooner to say that your specimens arrived safely. I will venture to keep the Madeira one2 till I commence reworking on the Pedunculata. I have marked outside the box to be ‘returned to you’ after I have taken a few.

The Balanus I will return almost immediately. It is one of the very few species which I dare name with little or no hesitation without opening (with the aid of some part exposed near the basis). It is the B. sulcatus of Bruguière3 =Lepas balanus, Linn.4 You sent me formerly specimens mingled with another species attached to a Pecten with the Clitias.

Do you know the latitude on the coast of Greenland? It would be valuable information for me. If you do even approximatively, will you write it on slip of paper, without anything further, and send it me? I have this species from Iceland.

With respect to Lithotrya, I feel a conviction that if you had seen all the specimens which I have, you would not doubt that all the species bore,5 in whatever manner this may be effected.

Yours very sincerely, | C. DARWIN.


Dated from the relationship to the letter to Albany Hancock, [31 March or 7 April 1850], in which CD asked for a specimen of Oxynaspis.
Oxynaspis celata (Living Cirripedia (1851): 134).
Jean Guillaume Bruguières, who wrote on ‘vers’ in the Encyclopédie méthodique (Bruguières 1789–92). This work, annotated by CD, is in the Darwin Library–CUL.
Living Cirripedia (1854): 256. Here CD called it Balanus porcatus, giving priority for the name to Emanuel [Mendes] da Costa, who described this species in 1778.
The burrowing powers of Lithotrya are discussed in Living Cirripedia (1851): 344–6, 346 n. See also letters to Albany Hancock, 29 September [1849] and 25 December [1849].


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.


Thanks AH for specimens of cirripedes. Believes all species of Lithotrya bore.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Albany Hancock
Sent from
Source of text
J. Hancock (1886): 258–9

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1321,” accessed on 16 May 2022,

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