Letter (WCP343.343)


Neath, Glamorganshire

Octr. 3rd. 1845.

Dear Sir

You perhaps think that I have quite forgotten any promise of writing to you, but the fact is that I have been for the last 3 months1 so very busy that I have really not had time, or even when I could get a little leisure the low state of my Entomological finances prevented me — All the finest weather of the latter part of the summer has been spent by me in a manner which you might consider very favorable to Entomolical [Entomological] pursuits — viz. in surveying & levelling among the most romantic parts of this beautiful & highly interesting district — But it is really astonishing the few insects which come unsought upon one's view; and though I keep a constant look out at all times when my attention is not otherwise engaged yet but scanty are my gleanings — [2] One day while traversing a most romantic rocky glen surrounded by the most magnificent precipices I discovered a fine larva of the Elephant Hawk moth (Deilephila Elpenor) which I have[,] now just about to change into a pupa[,] and this is about all worth mentioning —

For the past few weeks after leaving Leicester I had a little leisure & took several nice Coleoptera — a list of such as I have duplicates of I send & trust there may be some which will be acceptable to you — The great abundance of "Phyllopertha horticola" & "Hoplia argentea" is one feature of this neighbourhood, the former I could have taken by thousands everywhere.

"Melasoma populi" I took in great quantities on the dwarf willow on Crymlin burrows — The larva of "Lasiocampa rubi" is now very abundant here feeding both on the bramble but also very plentifully found on mountains feeding on the Common heath (calluna vulgaris) — I am afraid [3] they live through the winter[,] as I see no symptom of those I have giving up eating —

The following is a list of my duplicates —

Coleoptera Remarks
Prystonychus terricola common
Hoplia argentea common
Phyllopertha horticola very abundant
Cetonia aurata nr.[?] London. not taken here
Cryptorhynchus lapathi rather common
Pachyta livida nr.[?] London
Donacia cincta abundant
D[onacia] — impressa Kew Gardens
Auchenia 4 maculata rather common, in certain localities
Galeruca capreae rather common, — do —
Haltica ferruginea common
Melasoma populi local

The following I have taken & can no doubt get duplicates of next year —

Cionus scrophulariae abundant
C[ionus]. Thapsi common
Cleopus pulchellus not scarce
Sphaerula lythri
Hydronomus Alismatis
Galeruca rustica
Haltica Erucae

[4] I hoped to have had some nice butterflies to send you but I have been out of the way of them on all the fine days —

The Grayling butterfly (Hipparchia semele) is abundant here but I have not yet had an opportunity of getting good specimens — Have you it at Leicester? —

I got Shuckard's Coleoptera2 delineated, at Bohn's3 — they have bought the work & sell it for 18s.— at which price it is well worth having as it is a most beautiful & useful work — Remember me to your friend Mr Kirby.

Hoping you will write me a letter full of Entomological news

I rem[ai]n | Yours sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

To Mr Bates

The words "3 months" are underlined and "July-Sept. ?Left Leicester at Midsummer!" interlined below, in a cramped hand, apparently ARW's.
Shuckard, William Edward (Ed.) 1840. The British Coleoptera Delineated, Consisting of Figures of All the Genera of British Beetles, Drawn in Outline by W. Spry, M.E.S. London: W. Crofts.
Bohn, Henry George (1796-1884). British publisher of standard scientific and other works for the mass market.

Please cite as “WCP343,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 30 November 2023, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP343