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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. D. Crick   24 March 1882

111 Overstone Road | Northampton

March 24. 82

Dear Sir

It does not matter in the least about the shell being destroyed if you had obtained all the information required, I have no doubt in my own mind that the shell was Sphærium corneum as described in Gwyn Jeffrey’s book, but I have not been working very long with the mollusca so did not care to be too certain at first, but as you would have named it Cyclas cornea then that is almost conclusive because Gwyn Jeffreys has given the name Sphærium corneum to the Cyclas cornea of Forbes & Hanley.1

You need not trouble to return either the bettle or the fragments of the shell, at the same time I always see Nature so that altho’ much obliged for your offer you need not send me a copy.2

Allow me to thank you very sincerely for the trouble you have taken in the matter | Yours very truly | Walter D. Crick

P.S. I have other specimens of the same shell if you would care for them.


See letter to W. D. Crick, 23 March 1882. Cyclas cornea is a synonym of Sphaerium corneum; John Gwyn Jeffreys had noted the synonymy in Jeffreys 1862–9, 1: 5. The name Cyclas cornea had been published by Edward Forbes and Sylvanus Hanley in A history of British Mollusca and their shells (Forbes and Hanley 1853, 2: 113–15).


Forbes, Edward and Hanley, Sylvanus. 1853. A history of British Mollusca and their shells. 4 vols. London: John Van Voorst.

Jeffreys, John Gwyn. 1862–9. British conchology, or an account of the mollusca which now inhabit the British Isles and the surrounding seas. 5 vols. London: John van Voorst.


According to John Gwyn Jeffreys’ book [British conchology (1862–9)] shell is Sphaerium corneum, a synonym of Cyclas cornea.

Letter details

Letter no.
Walter Drawbridge Crick
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 161: 253
Physical description
ALS 3pp & ACCS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13738,” accessed on 7 June 2023,