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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   22 January [1867]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Jan 22

My dear Sir

I have great pleasure in answering your questions.

The Rock-thrush is the Rupicola aurantia.2

p. 171. The tortoise-shell cat is piebald with white, orange & black.3

p. 366. The Logger headed duck is the Anas brachyptera of Linn. or the Micropterus brachypterus of Eyton.4

I am very much obliged for all the great trouble which you are taking in the translation & believe me

my dear Sir | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. V. Carus, 18 January 1867.
See letter from J. V. Carus, 18 January 1867 and nn. 2 and 3. In spite of CD’s information, Carus mistakenly used the common name Steindrossel (now more commonly Steinrötel) and did not include a scientific name (see Bronn and Carus trans. 1867, p. 113).
See letter from J. V. Carus, 18 January 1867 and n. 4. Carus described the cat as ‘gelb, schwarz und weiss gefleckten’ (literally ‘yellow, black, and white spotted’; see Bronn and Carus trans. 1867, p. 182).
See letter from J. V. Carus, 18 January 1867 and n. 5. CD refers to Carl von Linné and to Thomas Campbell Eyton, who wrote a monograph on the duck family (Eyton 1838). Carus translated the name as ‘Dickkopf-Ente (Micropterus brachypterus)’ (see Bronn and Carus trans. 1867, p. 369). The modern name for this bird is Tachyeres brachypterus, the Falkland steamer duck, or Dampfschiffente in German (Birds of the world).


Birds of the world: Handbook of the birds of the world. By Josep del Hoyo et al. 17 vols. Barcelona: Lynx editions. 1991–2013.

Eyton, Thomas Campbell. 1838. A monograph on the Anatidae, or duck tribe. London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman.


Answers JVC’s questions about the rock-thrush, the tortoise-shell cat, and the logger-headed duck.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5375,” accessed on 30 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15