Letter (WCP4111.4128)


5 Westbourne Grove Terrace, W.

Friday evening [23 Jan. 1863?]1

My dear Mr Darwin

It has just occurred to me, that I have seen insects on Melastomas2. A small shrubby species is abundant in all the cleared waste grounds in the Malay Islands, & I now distinctly recollect having frequently taken small Cetoniadae3 of the genus Valgus from the flowers. The large wood boring bees (Xylocopa) also visit the flowers, & the whole plants often swarm with small black ants.

I remember also distinctly [2] having seen the flowers much eaten by insects.

The plant however is so common close to Singapore that I will write to one my friends there to observe & make a list of all the insects that visit it.4

Hoping these few facts may be useful.

I Remain | My dear Mr Darwin | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

Charles Darwin Esq

Dated conjectured by DCP, based on related correspondence.
A genus of tropical flowering plants.
A sub-family of Scarabaeidae (Scarab Beetles).
Possibly Henry Baker Tristram. See WCP4078.4025, ARW to DC 26 Sep 1863.

Please cite as “WCP4111,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 7 June 2023, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP4111