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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock    [March? 1856]1


My dear Lubbock

I am heartily sorry I shall not see this afternoon. I was last week at B. Mus. & was told that you were examining the new Cynips.2 It occurred to me that you shd. examine the galls for undeveloped males, so I brought some for you.3 They say that you must mind that a parasitic Hymenopt. on the Cynips is common in these galls.—

No more at present for I am good for nothing in this world but to growl.

Ever yours | C. Darwin


Dated from the references to the ‘new Cynips’ (see n. 2, below) and to CD’s visit to the British Museum. CD was in London working in the British Museum from 10 to 14 March 1856 (see Correspondence vol. 6, Appendix II).
Cynips lignicola, a species of gall-wasp new to England, was described in December 1855 in the Transactions of the Entomological Society of London n.s. 3 (1854–6), Proceedings, p. 114.
Lubbock mentioned the case of C. lignicola in his paper on the agamic ova of Daphnia, in which he stated that despite the large numbers found in south-west England over the past two summers, ‘in several thousand specimens not a male occurred’ (Lubbock 1857b, p. 95).


JL is studying Cynipidae. CD sends galls for his examination.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 10 (EH 88206459)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2028,” accessed on 18 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7 (Supplement)