A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Total Pages : 4
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: O'Dell, Sandra
Transcription date: February 27, 2015
Scrutiny: 27/02/2015 - Benny, Ruth;
Signed off: no
64 Derby Square
Douglas Isle of Man
Dec[ember] 8 1879
Excuse delay in replying to your letter of Nov[ember] 20 more Especially because I fear I have little or no information to send you -- I send however a few specimens illustrative of the most marked varieties of Lepidoptera I have met with in the island.
Looking at them as a whole I think they are characterized by darker colour [] ation than those of the South of England -- as are those of Scotland & Ireland -- but the differences are not [as] striking as many. It has sometimes [been] fancied there was a tendency to narrower wings -- for instance in our Diantheca[?] Cusia[?] compared with the continental form -- our Tephronia Censenaria[?] compared with the English -- but the bulk of species await to be distinguished, and perhaps you are to blam[e] for leading us to look for something of the soil -- in question [.] Lepidoptera are scarce both in species & []2 individuals, Except after rock species we have no woods, bogs or heaths -- the mountains produce little besides coarse grass.
Only 163 Butterflies have been seen in the island viz[.] Brassica4 -- Rapie. [sic]15 Napi6. Edusa7 Cardamines8 Aglaja [?]9 Urticae10 Io11 Atalanta12 Cardui13 Megera14 Semele15 Jurtina[?]16 Pamphilus17 Phlaeas18. Alexis19. -- a remnant surely of the original stock.
I am much pleased to hear that you are going to deal with the subject of Insular Variation[.] A short note of mine in the EMM20 Vol 13. p130 [7 words illeg. struck through] which I hoped would have led to [] a wider discussion than was the case. You have probably seen --
I have not noticed any variation in the size of the Lepidoptera Except the curious one of Vanessa Urticae10. This certainly seems very small, but not always quite so small as those sent -- but I never21 see any21 approaching21 the size of an ordinary English Example.
Atalanta12 which is Even more abundant is of the ordinary size.
Yours very truly | Edith Birchall [signature]22
Don[’]t return Either box or insect if of any use --
Alfred R Wallace Esq
1. Page numbered 70 in pencil in top RH corner.
2. Page numbered 71 in pencil in top RH corner.
3. Number corrected from 17.
4. Pieris brassicae (Large white)
5. Pieris rapae (Small white)
6. Pieris napi (Green-veined white)
7. Pontia edusa (Eastern Bath white)
8. Anthocharis cardamines (Orange tip)
9. Argynnis aglaja (Dark green fritillary)
10. Vanessa urticae (Small tortoiseshell)
11. Inachis io (Peacock)
12. Vanessa atalanta (Red admiral)
13. Cynthia cardui (Painted lady)
14. Lasiommata megera (Wall)
15. Hipparchia semele (Grayling)
16. Maniola jurtina (Meadow brown)
17. Coenonympha pamphilus (Small heath)
18. Lycaena phlaeas (Small copper)
19. Glaucopsyche alexis (Green-underside blue)
20. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine (first published in 1864)
21. These words are underlined in pencil. Double vertical lines in pencil in the LH margin draw attention to the words “small, but not always quite so small as those sent -- but I never see any approaching the size of an ordinary English Example.”
22. Lepidopterist living on the Isle of Man. No information.
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