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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Frederick Bates   26 June [1870?]1

6. Queen Anne St | London W

June 26th

Dear Sir

It is extremely kind of you to remember my request about Trox.2 Unfortunately I have left home for a week, & the beetles have been forwarded here. I have opened them & they look very lively. But I have no microscopes here or other means of investigation. I have put a few in a separate Box & will feed & take home, & will soon take or send the remainder to your brother. 3

I am rather in despair how to observe them, for they sham dead when touched, & do not like most other beetles seem at all inclined to stridulate.

With very sincere thanks | Pray believe me | Yours truly obliged | Ch. Darwin


The year is conjectured from the relationship between this letter and the letter to Frederick Bates, 19 June [1868?] (Correspondence vol. 16), and from CD’s mention of being in London for a week. In 1870, CD was in London from 24 June to 1 July (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). In 1869, he had been in Wales for most of June (Correspondence vol. 17, Appendix II).
See Correspondence vol. 16, letter to Frederick Bates, 19 June [1868?]. CD discussed the stridulation of Trox sabulosus in Descent 1: 380, commenting that he himself had failed to discover the organs of stridulation in this beetle (see also Correspondence vol. 16, letter to B. D. Walsh, 9 June 1868).
Henry Walter Bates.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.


Thanks for Trox beetles which have been forwarded [to London], but unfortunately CD has no microscope here. Is "in despair how to observe them … they sham dead" and are not inclined to stridulate.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Frederick Bates
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6
Source of text
DAR 185: 121
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7245A,” accessed on 19 April 2021,

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