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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henry Walter Bates   8 June 1869

Royal Geographical Society | 15, Whitehall Place, S.W.

June 8 1869

My dear Mr Darwin

I am ashamed to say that my brother Entomologists have almost nothing to offer you in statistics of sexes of bred insects.

Last evening there was a Meeting of the Society & I took the opportunity of asking all the practical Entomologists individually if they had done anything towards answering the appeal made to them some months ago & I found they had done nothing.1 There was only one exception & I am promised the results of enumeration by one gentleman a Mr Buckler, which as soon as I receive I will forward to you.2

I trust this glorious weather finds you well & in happy working condition

Yours sincerely | H W Bates

I have had a fearfully busy season—in Geography3


Bates had first asked the members of the Entomological Society of London on CD’s behalf for information on the proportion of the sexes in insects in February 1868 (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from H. W. Bates, 18 February 1868).
See memorandum from William Buckler, [after 8 June 1869]. CD gave Buckler’s results from rearing seventy-four species of Lepidoptera in 1869 in Descent 1: 312.
Bates was assistant secretary of the Royal Geographical Society (ODNB).


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

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

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Ashamed that members of the Entomological Society have almost no information on sex ratio of bred insects in response to CD’s query of months ago. One exception, William Buckler, promises results. [See Descent 1: 313.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Walter Bates
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
R. Geogr. Soc.
Source of text
DAR 160: 87
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6778,” accessed on 28 May 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17