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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Christian Ferdinand Friedrich von Krauss   21 December [1851]

Down Bromley Kent

Dec. 21.


I hope that you will forgive me addressing you. I am preparing a monograph on the Cirripedia, & am extremely anxious to make it as perfect as possible. Will you confer on a fellow naturalist & traveller, the great favour of the loan of a specimen of your Conia rosea, which shall be faithfully returned to you.1 A single valve of the shell, & two valves on either side of the operculum, would be sufficient, if you do not like to trust a perfect specimen in a letter. Will you be so kind as to tell me, whether you collected C. rosea yourself, or whether it was given to you; I ask, because I have a closely allied form from Australia, which surprises me a good deal.—2

Trusting that you will forgive me troubling, & that your kindness will prompt you to oblige me, though a stranger, if it lies in your power,

I beg to remain, | Sir | Your obliged & faithful servant | Charles Darwin To | Professor Krauss | &c &c &c


Strictly adhering to the rule of priority set out in the British Association for the Advancement of Science rules of nomenclature, CD named this specimen Tetraclita rosea (see Living Cirripedia (1854): 321). Krauss had described it in Krauss 1848, p. 136. CD thanked him in Living Cirripedia (1854): 335 n. for sending a ‘unique specimen collected by himself in Algoa Bay.’ In his ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 5, Appendix I), CD noted that he ‘began Genus Conia’ on 12 November 1851.
In Living Cirripedia (1854): 335 n., CD stated: ‘There can be no doubt of the identity of the African and Australian specimens. It is a singular circumstance that the same species should occur in these two distant places, and, as far as at present known, not in the intermediate, more tropical coasts.’


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Krauss, Ferdinand. 1848. Die südafrikanischen Mollusken. Stuttgart.

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.


Asks to borrow FK’s specimen of Conia rosea. Would like to know if FK collected it himself [in S. Africa] or was given it, because CD has a closely allied species from Australia, which surprises him. [See Living Cirripedia 2: 335.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Christian Ferdinand Friedrich von Krauss
Sent from
Source of text
Wellcome Collection
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1465,” accessed on 18 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5