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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Otto Staudinger   20 May 1868

Down Bromley Kent, S E

May 20 | 1868.

Dear Sir

I thank you sincerely for your most kind and interesting letter.1 It is a great disappointment to me that I may not trust to your List in relation to the sexes of Lepidoptera; but I am not the less obliged to you for having saved me from falling into error.2 It would be a very interesting point if you could prove that the females were the most liable to perish in coccoon-state; but, as I understand your letter, this is at present only your belief.3 I am particularly glad to hear of the remarkable fact of the hybrid moths being all males. This fact will come in very useful for me to quote.4 I quite agree with what you say, that entomologists have the best means of proving the derivation of species, & I have often much wished that I was one of the class, but it evidently requires the labour of a life to study carefully even one division of so gigantic a class.

With very sincere thanks & my best respects, I remain, dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Charles Darwin

Footnotes

See letter from Otto Staudinger, 15 May 1868. Although CD cited Staudinger for information on Lepidoptera in Descent 1: 311–12, he did not mention Staudinger’s findings on hybrids.

Bibliography

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Summary

Thanks for information on sex ratios of Lepidoptera.

Agrees that entomologists have best means of proving derivation of species.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-6192
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
Otto Staudinger
Sent from
Down
Source of text
DAR 147: 492
Physical description
2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6192,” accessed on 27 January 2020, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-6192.xml

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

letter