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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Frederick William Hope   [21 June 1837]

[36 Great Marlborough Street]

Dear Hope

I called yesterday on you and left a tin box with a few Hobart Town beetles, which I had neglected to put with the others. Is not there not a chrysomela among them, very like the English species which feeds on the Broom.— I have spoken to Waterhouse about the Australian insects; you can have them when you like.— The collections in the pill boxes come from Sydney, Hobart town, and King George’s Sound.— Do you want all orders for your work?. Some are already I believe in the hands of Mr Walker,1 & you know Waterhouse has described some minute Coleoptera in two papers read to the Entomological Soc:2 To these description of course you will refer.— You will be glad to find that many of the minute Coleoptera from Sydney are mounted on cards.— Will you send me as soon as you conveniently can, one of my boxes, as I am in want of them to transplant some more insects.— Perhaps you had better return the Carabi,3 as they come from several localities I am afraid of some mistake. We must put out specimens for the Entomolog Soc: & your Cabinet. May I state in a note on your authority that a third or a half of the insects which you already have of mine from Sydney & Hobart town are undescribed.— It is a striking fact, if such is the case, for it shows how imperfectly known the insects are, even in the close neighbour-hood of the two Australian Capitals.

Floreat Entomologia | Yours most truly | Chas. Darwi〈n〉 Wednesday


Francis Walker, an expert in the taxonomy of Hymenoptera, described CD’s collection of Chalcididae (parasitic Hymenoptera) in a series of articles between 1838 and 1843 (see Collected papers 2: 297–9) and in volume 2 of his Monographia Chalciditum (F. Walker 1839).
Waterhouse 1837–40a (read 5 December 1836) and 1837–40b (read 2 January 1837).
Hope had read a paper at the Entomological Society on 1 May 1837 describing some Caribidae collected by CD (Hope 1837–40, pp. 128–31). No further descriptions of CD’s specimens appear to have been published by Hope. A note in DAR 118: 19 indicates that he was sent, in addition to Caribidae, insect specimens from ‘Australia | Van Diemen’s Land | King George’s Sound’, while George Robert Waterhouse was given ‘minute insects from d[itt]o’.


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

Hope, Frederick William. 1837. Descriptions of some species of Carabidæ, collected by Charles Darwin, Esq., in his late voyage. [Read 1 May 1837.] Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 2: 128–31.

Walker, Francis. 1839. Monographia Chalciditum. London: Hyppolitus Bailliere.


Discusses insect specimens he left with FWH. Asks if he may state on FWH’s authority that a third or a half of the specimens from Sydney and Hobart Town are undescribed – a striking fact, showing imperfect knowledge of the insects in the close neighbourhood of the two Australian capitals.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Frederick William Hope
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 36
Source of text
Oxford University Museum (Hope Entomological collections)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 362,” accessed on 24 November 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2