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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Lubbock   10 June 1858

High Elms, | Farnborough, | Kent.

10 June 58

Dear Mr. Darwin

I hope you are better. Many thanks for the Queen Bee larva & Pupa which will be very useful some day. diagram

The above two figures represent the posterior part of the subœsophageal ganglion, in the two species of Coccus whose nervous system I have examined.1 In C. persicæ? the ganglion end like a trident, whose 3 teeth pass gradually into the central stem and two lateral nerves.

In some specimens of both species I have seen the nerve a rise directly from the ganglion and not from the nerve b.2

Believe me | Yours most sincerely | J Lubbock C Darwin Esq


John Lubbock was preparing a paper on the digestive and nervous systems of the insect Coccus hesperidum (Lubbock 1858). His paper was read at a meeting of the Royal Society on 18 November 1858. An offprint of the paper marked by CD is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
CD was impressed to hear that important organs like nerves were subject to variation in their number and position. Lubbock’s information was cited in Origin, p. 46.


Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Thanks for queen-bee larva and pupa.

Nervous system of Coccus.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
High Elms
Source of text
DAR 170: 21
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2284,” accessed on 27 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7