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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Walker   10 December 1843

Grove Cottage | Southgate

Decber. 10th.—43.

My dear Sir

I hope you will excuse my long delay in answering your request for information concerning the resemblance between the Chalcidites which you collected, & the European species of that tribe. I should have written sooner if I had anything to communicate respecting them. With a very few exceptions the species from all the localities are remarkably similar to those of Europe, & not as a group to be distinguished from them.

The species of Eucharis from Australia & from Bahia, Brazil, & Thoracantha Latreillii from the latter spot, are altogether different from the European forms, & so also is Miscogaster (Agamerian N.G. Haliday M.SS.) Gelo, an Australian species. Charles Isle, Galapagos presents a form quite distinct from any of Europe, it is Merostenus Sadales. Mr. Haliday1 has established the genus Lelaps upon it & upon another species found in St. Vincent’s Island by the Revd. Lansdown Guilding. There are a few other species from various localities differing slightly from the British forms, but I have very little knowledge of the European species, & only very few Chalcidites from the South of Europe have yet been described. I am glad that your Chalcidites are safely deposited in the British Museum,2 & I hope soon to be able to examine their structure more closely than I did when I described the species.3

Believe me my dear Sir | Yours very truly | Francis Walker.


At least a part of CD’s collection is still to be seen at the British Museum (Natural History).
Walker described Chalcididae collected by CD in the Entomological Magazine (F. Walker 1838), in a monograph (F. Walker 1839), and in several articles that appeared in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History, (1842–3).


Haliday, Alexander Henry. 1841–3. Contributions towards the classification of the Chalcididæ. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 3: 295–301.

Walker, Francis. 1838. Descriptions of some Chalcidites discovered by C. Darwin, Esq. Entomological Magazine 5: 469–77.

Walker, Francis. 1839. Monographia Chalciditum. London: Hyppolitus Bailliere.


Chalcidites collected by CD are all similar to those of Europe. Mentions other specimens quite different from European forms.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Walker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 205.3: 294
Physical description
ALS 2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 721,” accessed on 4 October 2023,

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