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Darwin Correspondence Project

From H. W. Bates   1 October 1874

Royal Geographical Society | 1, Savile Row. | Burlington Gardens. | W.

Oct. 1 1874

My dear Mr Darwin

Mr Maclachlan, Treasurer & former Secretary of the Entom. Soc.,1 has taken charge of Mrs Barber’s communication & thinks it will be accepted by the Society for publication, with a coloured Plate.2 The phenomenon described is not new, the Society having long ago received communications of a similar nature regarding Pieris brassica &c. but Mrs Barber’s facts are rather more striking than usual.3

Thanks for your kind enquiries regarding my family. I rejoice to say they are all well & have returned invigorated from a long & happy holiday

Mr Belt’s4 address is

Thos Belt

Cornwall House

Ealing W.

Yours sincerely | H W Bates


Robert McLachlan served as secretary of the Entomological Society of London from 1868 to 1872, and as treasurer from 1873 to 1875 (ODNB).
Mary Elizabeth Barber’s paper ‘Notes on the peculiar habits and changes which take place in the larva of Papilio Nireus’ was communicated by CD, and appeared in Transactions of the Entomological Society of London (Barber 1874). Barber described the pupae of Papilio nireus, the green-banded swallowtail butterfly, assuming the colour of their particular surroundings. The paper had been sent to CD by Joseph Dalton Hooker (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [29 August 1874] and n. 8).
Observations of the pupae of Pieris brassicae (the cabbage-white butterfly) appeared in Wood 1867.
Thomas Belt.


Barber, Mary Elizabeth. 1874. Notes on the peculiar habits and changes which take place in the larva and pupa of Papilio nireus. [Read 2 November 1874.] Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 22: 519–21.

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.


Notes that Mr[s] Barber’s communication [forwarded by CD] will be published because of more striking than usual facts ["Notes on … larva and pupa of Papilio nireus", Trans. R. Entomol. Soc. Lond. (1874): 519–21].

Encloses Thomas Belt’s address.

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Walter Bates
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
R. Geogr. Soc.
Source of text
DAR 160: 92
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9666,” accessed on 28 May 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22