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Collecting insects in Wales

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                          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 months 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 favourable to Entomolical [sic] 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 ones view: and though I keep a constant look out at all times when any attention is not otherwise engaged yet but scanty are my gleanings -

 
One day whilst 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" & "Itoplia argentea" is one feature of this neighbourhood, the former I could have taken by thousands everywhere.     "Melasonia populi" I took in great quantities or the dwarf "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     they live through the winter as I see no symptom of those I have giving up eating -     The following is a list of any duplicates -            Coleoptera                     Remarks

 

Prystorychus tericola      -      common

Hopila argentea              -      common

Phyllopertha horticola     -       very abundant

Cetonia aurata          -   nr. London.  not taken here -

Cryptorhynchus lapathi    -    rather common

Pachyta livida.   -     nr. London.

Donacia cnicta               -        abundant.

D-          impressa           -    Kew gardens

Auchemia immaculata     -   rather common, in certain localities

Galeruca capreae           -   rather common   -      d[itt]o-

Haltica ferrungiunea         -         common.

Melasoma populi           -   local -

The following I have taken & can no doubt get duplicates

of next year -

Cionus scrophulariae - abundant

C. Thapsi -                    common -

Cleopus pulchellus -          not scarce.

Sphaerula lythri -

Hydronomus Alismatis

Galeruca rustea

Haltica Erucoe.

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 the Shuckard's Coleoptera delineated, at Bohn's - they have bought the work & sell it for 180.- 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 remain                                   Yours sincerely

[signed]                              Alfred R. Wallace

 

To

  Mr Bates



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