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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Roland Trimen   21 February [1868]1

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

Feb. 21st

My dear Mr Trimen

You are always most kind in aiding me. The argument of the Lasiocampa strikes me as very good—but what an intricate subject it is!—2 I have had excellent letters from Stainton & Bates.3 The latter is much staggered.— Have you ever heard or observed other cases like the Lasiocampa. I think I have seen in England many Butterflies pursuing one.—4

But here comes a doubt   may not the same male serve more than one female. I think I will write to Dr. Wallace of Colchester.—5

My women-kind have insisted on coming to London for all March, much to my grief; but I shall get some good, for I shall see some of my friends, & you amongst the number.—6

With very sincere thanks | Believe me | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I shall go doggedly on collecting facts througout the animal kingdom, & possibly at the end some little light may be acquired.— I am getting some of the chief domestic animals tabulated.7


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Roland Trimen, 20 February 1868.
Alexander Wallace.
CD was in London from 3 March to 1 April 1868 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix II)). Trimen visited CD at 4 Chester Place on 25 March (letter to Roland Trimen, [21 March 1868]).


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


RT’s argument about the Lasiocampa strikes him as very good; asks for any similar cases. Wonders whether male butterflies may serve more than one female.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Roland Trimen
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Entomological Society (Trimen papers, box 21: 65)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5908,” accessed on 29 February 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16