Letter (WCP341.341)



May 3rd. 1846

Dear Sir

Those in your list which I am in want of are the following1

Calathus piceus.
Agonum piceum The Agonums puzzle me much & I shall be glad of any specimens you have to compare with mine
Peryphus cnemerythrus
Apion virens
A. humile
Colymbetes sturmii
Cryptophagus ulicis.
Aphodius sphacelatus I think I have this, but am not sure of the species —
Onthophagus ovatus
O. coenobita I am not sure of this species
Harpalus rubripes
Silpha laevigata

I find while I have so many of the larger species to take I cannot pay the necessary attention to the more difficult smaller ones such as the minute Brachyelytra & Necrophaga — The following are what [2] I have taken from my last list up to the present time —

x Leistus spinibarbis rather plentiful in woods
L. fulvibarbis! 2 with d[itt]o
L. rufescens 1 under stone
Chlaenius vestitus 2 [on] banks of River Neath
Amara tibialis? on Crymlin [sic] Burrows2
A. erythropa? d[itt]o —
Trechus fulvus.
T. suturalis.
Tachypus properans.
T. celer
Tachys binotatus in grass.
Ocys melanocephalus? } on bark of fallen tree
or tempestivus. !! }
Hydroporus 12 pustulatus. Neath Canal
H. pygmaeus? — — d[itt]o.
H. tristis
H. palustris.
* Hygrotus pictus — —
" scitulus
" inequalis [inaequalis]
Haliplus fulvicollis.
Noterus semipunctatus
Laccobius minutus.
* Necrophorus [Nicrophorus] vespillo in dead crow
* N. (1)3 humator. d[itt]o
[3] Catops festinans
x Trichoderma pubescens. abundant.
Trichoderma nebulosum. 2 in carcases [sic].
x Staphylinus erythropterus not uncommon.
Hister cadaverinus. with d[itt]o
x Creophilus maxillosus plentiful i[n] dead horse.
Meligethes caeruleus flowers.
✓x Onthophagus Dilwynii4 [sic] plentiful.
" fracticornis?
✓x (1)5 Typhoeus vulgaris. under cow dung in dry thickets — in holes not near so deep as Geotrupes stercorarius.
Agrypnus murinus.
x Hypolithus riparius not uncommon
x✓ Apion frumentarium.
A. violaceum
A. apricans
Leiophleus nubilus on nettles few[?].
Alophus 3 guttatus d[itt]o d[itt]o
Hypera nigrirostre[?] [nigrirostris]
Otiorynchus [Otiorhynchus] scabrosus?
Polydrusus [Phyllobius?] calcaratus.
Phyllobius argentatus.
✓x Hydronomus alismatis on aquatic plants.
Haltica brassicae.
✓x H. pseudacori. on Iris pseudacorus abundant.

with many[?] small specim[ens] I h[a]v[e][?] not yet named.

[4] We have one of Mr. Dilwyn’s [Dillwyn's] Catalogues6of the Swansea Coleoptera at our library here — There are a great many nice species in it — And I have no doubt I shall get several of them this summer. Cicindela maritima & Nebria complanata I dare say I shall get in June. I have sent you a tracing of a map to shew you the situation of the Crymlin Burrows &c. The Burrows is merely a tract of nearly level sandy ground generally covered with short grass & such plants as "erodium cicutarium" "Erophila vulgaris" "arenarias"[?]11 &c. &c. The low parts subject to inundation from the sea are covered with the great sea rush "juncus maritimus" — [5] the "Salix argentea" & gorse and on[?] the heaps of sand blown up immediately adjacent to the beach Elymus arenaria[?] [arenarius], and Euphorbia paralias and other sea shore plants — The End next Swansea is most flat[,] that next Neath River is broken by several pieces of rock rising perhaps 200 feet partly covered with woods & the sand heaped about them forms a little range of hills — I think I have forgot in my list Aegialia globosa which is very abundant attempting to crawl up the bare hills of blown sand most perseveringly — Crymlin bog produces many rare bog plants & marsh insects but from the quantity of water it is [6] very difficult to get into it. The Neath & Swansea valleys are formed by Rocky mountains mostly covered with oak woods on their sides and poor mountain farms on their summits & upper slopes — The Rock is the Sandstone of the coal formation — Along the sides of the River Neath for about 3 miles up from its mouth are flat marshy lands overflowed at spring tides — In the lower part of the valley is a deposit of dialluvial gravel on each side forming some good undulating land — The section of this part would be thus [a sketch of the terrain appears here] [7] High up the valley the dialluvial gravel is wanting — On the sketch the dark colour shews the woods and plantations. The mount[ai]n[s][?] rise about 1000 to 1500 feet but in the upper part of [the] vale to 2000 & at its upper extremity ab[ou]t 15 miles from Neath to upwards of 2500 feet. The upper part is crossed by the mountain limestone, and a district 4 or 5 miles wide separating the coal basin from the O[ld]. Red Sandstone is highly Romantic & beautiful — The mountain limestone also appears to the W. of Swansea as I have shewn by cross lines — which district I intend if possible taking a few days tour through & expect to get some novel species.

[8] I got some Ent. Pins some time since & use them for all of my coleoptera except the very large ones & the small or tender ones.

I have an eye glass with 3 lenses which I use either singly or combined but in the latter state it wants distinctness & light — How should a ¼ inch lens be mounted? as a common eye glass or as an Entomological microscope? —

I have seen some mounted at the top of a little glass cylinder which you put down over the object & then adjust with a screw — Just before receiving your last I had discovered what I thought was a cassida to be Thymalus limbatus[.] It is rather rare here.

I must now remain | Your sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

Mr H. Bates

All of the items listed are Coleoptera (beetles).
Crymlin (more commonly spelled "Crymlyn") Burrows is an area of sand dunes at the mouth of the River Neath in Wales.
The number "1" is encircled and interlined below the "N" of "N. Humator".
Dillwyn, Lewis Weston (1778-1855), naturalist, porcelain manufacturer and Member of Parliament.
The number "1" is encircled, and interlined below the X to the left of "Typhoeus".
Dillwyn, L. W. [1829]. Memoranda Relating to Coleopterous Insects, Found in the Neighbourhood of Swansea. Not published. Swansea, UK: printed by W. C. Murray & D. Rees.

Please cite as “WCP341,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 26 February 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP341