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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Raphael Meldola   11 August 1873

21 John Street, | Bedford Row, W.C.

August 11th. 1873

Dear Sir,

I send herewith a copy of my paper on ‘variable protective colouring in insects’.1

I am still working at the subject of mimicry & am much in need of assistance on the following point:— Is there any reason to believe that large variations are more frequently sexually limited to the sex in which such variations first appear than is the case with small variations?— I should feel much obliged if you could give any information on this subject or refer me to any works treating thereon— I have read the chapters in your “Variation under domestication” (the only book touching on sexually limited inheritance that I have been able to obtain) but this particular point is not gone into in that work.2

I was down at Shere last week & heard from Dr. Capron that you were stopping there—3 pray put yourself to no inconvenience in answering this till you have returned to Beckenham when a line or two will be gratefully received.

Yours respectfully, | R. Meldola.

C. Darwin Esq.

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘[Answered]pencil


CD’s offprint of Meldola 1873 has not been found, but his copy of the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London containing the article is in the collection of unbound journals in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
In Variation 2: 71–5, CD discussed inheritance as limited by sex.
Shere is a village in Surrey within ten miles of Abinger Hall, where CD had stayed from 5 to 9 August 1873 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). Meldola also refers to Edward Capron.


Meldola, Raphael. 1873. On a certain class of cases of variable protective colouring in insects. [Read 4 February 1873.] Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (1873): 153–62.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Encloses a copy of his paper on mimicry [Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. (1873): 153–61].

Asks whether large variations are more often limited to one sex than slight ones.

Letter details

Letter no.
Raphael Meldola
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, John St, 21
Source of text
DAR 171: 120
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9004,” accessed on 4 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21