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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Louis Agassiz   15 June [1850]

Down Farnborough Kent [Malvern]

June 15th.

My dear Sir

I have seldom been more deeply gratified, than by receiving your most kind present of “Lake Superior”: I had heard of it, & had much wished to read it, but I confess that it was the very great honour of having in my possession a work with your autograph, as a presentation copy, that has given me such lively & sincere pleasure. I cordially thank you for it. I have began to read it with uncommon interest, which I see will increase as I go on.—1

The Cirripedia which you & Dr. Gould were so good as to send me,2 have proved of great service to me. The sessile species from Massachussets consist of five species; I will give their names &c, though I do not know whether you will care to hear about them.—

1) Balanus balanoides 3 = Lepas balanoides Linn (= B. punctatus of most British authors)—a littoral species; Europæan. B. ovularis & elongatus of Dr. Goulds named specimens—

(2) B. vulgaris (?) = L. balanoides Linn. (confounded by most or all authors with B. balanoides) Europæan deepish water. B. rugosus & Balanoides of Dr Gould’s named specimens.

3) B. sulcatus Brugiere = L. balanus Linn. = B. geniculatus Conrad Europæan

4. B. tulipa Müller = B. candidus & scoticus of British authors, (sent mingled with B. eburneus by Dr Gould.) Europæan

5. B. eburneus Gould. —— United States.—

Of the genus Balanus on the shores of Britain we have one species B. perforatus Brugière4 which you have not in U. States; in the same way as you exclusively have B. eburneus.—

All the above species attain a somewhat larger average size on the shores of the U. States than on those of Britain, but, the specimens from the Glacial beds of Uddevalla, Scotland & Canada are larger even than those of the U. States.

If you think that Dr. Gould would care to see these few remarks on the Cirripedia of the U. States, will you kindly send him this letter.

I have not yet examined the Chthamalus & Chelonobia you sent me from Charlestown.—5

Once again allow me to thank you with cordiality for the pleasure you have given me

Believe me with the highest respect | Yours truly obliged | C. Darwin


CD’s presentation copy of Agassiz 1850 (Darwin Library–CUL) is scored and annotated. Four pages of notes, listing topics and pages of interest, are pasted in the back of the volume.
The species listed are discussed in Living Cirripedia (1854): 267, 256, 277, and 248.
Chthamalus stellatus and Chelonobia patula (Living Cirripedia (1854): 455, 390).


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 LA for presentation copy of his book, Lake Superior [1850].

Comments on species of cirripedes sent by LA and A. A. Gould.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Jean Louis Rodolphe (Louis) Agassiz
Sent from
Malvern Down letterhead; posted from Down on .06.19
JU 19 1850
Source of text
Houghton Library, Harvard University (MS Am 1419: 275)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1341,” accessed on 23 July 2024,

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