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A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Total Pages : 4
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Cooper, Rod
Transcription date: April 17, 2014
Signed off: no
Feb[ruar]y. 17th. 1910
Dr. Karl Jordan1
Dear Dr. Jordan
I want the names of a few butterflies which I dare say you can give me without trouble. I am writing a chapter on Colour, and I want the names of those species of butterflies which have changing phosphorescent glows. I know of 3 only -- but you probably know of many more. One is Papilio catord[?] (G.R. Gray)2 the red spots on hind is chang[ed] to intense luminous [word illeg.]  when viewed very obliquely from the head.
Another is a rare Ornithoptera from the Philippines -- the yellow on the hind wings of which changes in a similar manner to this O.megallanus?
The third is a wonderful little genus of Erycinidiae which Bates3 got at Ega4 (I believe) in which the whole upper surface is if I remember a buff-yellow, but which changes to the phosphorescent glow when viewed obliquely.
I was immensely struck by these 3 butterflies because they [] seemed to me to go beyond any colours even in birds or beetles.
Will you kindly give me the correct names of these I have referred to -- also, how many other species you know of in these or in other groups -- also, do you agree with me that the appearance is best described as phosphorescent or opalescent. I used to use the latter term, but last summer looking closely at a very fine glow worm, it struck me at once that the Papilio [] (the only one I have that shows it --) changed into such a luminosity, -- as if it gave out light rather than reflected it. Has any one written on these changes of colour?
Yours very truly | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
1. Heinrich Ernst Karl Jordan (1861-1959). German entomologist.
2. George Robert Gray (1808-1872). English zoologist and author.
3. Henry Walter Bates (1825-1892). English naturalist and explorer. Wallace's associate in his expedition to the Amazon.
4. Modern-day Tefé. A city in northern Brazil.
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