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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. R. Gray   [February 1841]

[12 Upper Gower Street]


My dear Sir

In the two last proofs, you have called one ground-woodpecker Chrysoptilus campestris & the second you left “Colaptes Chilensis Vigors”.— I have altered this to “Chrysoptilus Chilensis G. R. Gray”—1 Is this right.?— You need not look at any other part of this Revise.— Will you ⁠⟨⁠plea⁠⟩⁠se leave these sheets, as you ⁠⟨⁠retu⁠⟩⁠rn home.—

Yours most truly | C. Darwin


‘Colaptes Chilensis Vigors’ was retained (Birds, p. 114). CD’s note reads: ‘It is closely related in habits and structure to the foregoing species [Chrysoptilus campestris], and appears to be its representative on the western side of the Cordillera; hence I cannot but think the institution of the above two genera unfortunate.’


In a revise [of Birds] CD has altered "Colaptes Chilensis Vigors" to "Chrysoptilus Chilensis G. R. Gray". Is that right?

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Robert Gray
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
The British Library (Egerton MS 2348: 239)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 587,” accessed on 28 January 2022,

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