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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Caldwell Rye   14 February 1870

10, Lower Park Fields, | Putney, | London, SW.

14th. Feb. 1870.

Dear Sir,

In your most interesting “Notes on the 〈fertiliz〉ation of Orchids”, in Ann. & Mag. of 〈Nat.〉 Hist., Sep. 18691 (which I have just 〈care〉fully re-perused with the view of extracting 〈ma〉tter for the Coleoptera of Zoological Record, 1869, now in my hands), I find no specification of any species of beetles except Malthodes brevicollis; and, therefore, venture to draw your attention (if you have not, indeed, already observed the same yourself) to the publication, about the same time as your Notes, by Girard, in the Annales d. l. Soc. Entom. 〈d〉e France, 1869, Bulletin, p. xxxi, of 〈c〉ertain observations, from which it appears 〈th〉at two species of Longicornes, viz., 〈Strangal〉ia nigra, Linn., and S. atra, Fab., 〈assist〉 in the fecundation of Orchidaceæ, 〈by d〉etaching glutinous pollen.2 Possibly, M. 〈Girard〉 is already a correspondent of yours: 〈but, u〉nder any circumstances, you will 〈doubtless〉 excuse my writing thus, although 〈pers〉onally unknown to you. My connection 〈with Mr.〉 G. R. Waterhouse emboldens me to this.3

〈Yours tr〉uly— | 〈E. C. Rye.〉


CD cited Maurice Girard’s remarks (from Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 4th ser. 9 (1869): xxxi–xxxii) in Orchids 2d ed., p. 16 n. Strangalia atra is now S. aethiops.
George Robert Waterhouse was Rye’s father-in-law.


‘Fertilization of orchids’: Notes on the fertilization of orchids. By Charles Darwin. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 4th ser. 4 (1869): 141–59. [Collected papers 2: 138–56.]

Orchids 2d ed.: The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insects. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition, revised. London: John Murray. 1877.


Draws CD’s attention to a paper by Maurice Girard containing observations on the fertilisation of Orchidaceae by two species of Longicornia [Ann. Soc. Entomol. France 9 (1869): xxxi–xxxii].

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Caldwell Rye
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 176: 228
Physical description
1p †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7106,” accessed on 5 March 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18