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Record number: WCP1705

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Samuel Stevens
29 October 1858

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Batchian [Bacan] Island, Moluccas, [Indonesia] to Samuel Stevens [none given] on 29 October 1858.

Record created:
25 September 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


Talks of collecting beetles and birds (some new species) at the Kaisal Islands. 20 new species of Loyrcorus and several species of the genus Serixia. Discovered a new bird of paradise (new genus). Surprised to find it so far out. Mentions that the essay he sent to Darwin on "Varieties" has been read out alongside Darwin's at the Linnean; asks if they are published can Stevens obtain a few copies and send them to Wallace's friends.

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Wallace, Alfred Russel. (1859). [Letter from Batchian]. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London: 70-71. [p. 61]

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[[1]]1 [p. 61]

Mr. Stevens read the following extract from a letter just received, addressed to him by Mr. A. R. Wallace, dated Batchian, Moluccas, October 29th, 1858:--

"As there is now a boat going which may just catch the mail at Ternate, I write a few lines to let you know of my having arrived here safe and commenced operations. I came here in a small hired boat with my own men, luckily it was fine weather, or 100 miles at sea with no means of cooking and only room for one days water, would have been more than unpleasant. I stopped five days at the Kaiod Islands, just half way, and got a nice collection of beetles, a fair number of new species, and some curious varieties of those before found at Ternate and Gilolo. I have only been here five days, but from what I have already done, and the nature of the country, I am inclined to think it may prove one of the best localities I have yet visited; I have already twenty species of Longicorns new to me, nothing very grand, but many pretty and very interesting; the most remarkable is one of the Bornean genus, Triammatus, also several species of the elegant little genus Serixia, which have been very scarce or absent since I left Sarawak; I have also an elegant new Pachyrhynchus, a fine Ips, a small new Cicindela, and a small new species of Therates. In butterflies I have taken an imperfect specimen of a glorious new species very like Papilio Ulysses, but distinct, and ever handsomer! I have also seen a female of a grand new Ornithoptera, but cannot say what the male will prove to be. I have several times seen what I think is a new species allied to Papilio Codrus, but they are too wild to catch: the Papilio allied to P. Sarpedon, which I found at Macassar, is also here, and two or three other species which I have not yet been able to capture."


1. Editor Charles H. Smiths Note: Excerpt from a letter concerning collecting activities dated 29 October 1858, Batchian, Moluccas. Communicated to the Entomological Society of London meeting of 7 March 1859 and printed on page 61 of their Proceedings for 1858-1859.


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smiths The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S365A.htm

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.