Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP5119

Sent by:
John Wallace
Sent to:
Henry Rider Haggard
May 1870

Sent by John Wallace, Stockton, California, USA to Henry Rider Haggard, [Holly House, Tanner Street, Barking, E.] on May 1870.

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04 March 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Wallace, John. (1871). [Letter extracts from John Wallace on horned toads and rattlesnakes]. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 39(1): 1-2. [p. 1-2]

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[[1]]1 [p. 1]

Mr. A. R. Wallace, F.Z.S., read the following extracts from letters of Mr. John Wallace:--

"Stockton, California, May 1870.

"There is common on dry sandy plains a small animal known [[2]] [p. 2] here as the 'Horned Toad,' but which is a Lizard (Phrynosoma, sp. ?), having a broad body and short tail, covered all over with horny protuberances, and on the head five or six short and stout horns arranged like a crown. Under certain circumstances, apparently as a means of defence, this creature squirts out from one of its eyes a jet of bright-red liquid very much like blood. This I have observed three times from three different individuals, although I have caught many that did not do it. They do not generally use this defence when first captured, although I caught one a few days ago which squirted the liquid a distance of six inches over the back of my hand, and another ejected it when I flourished a bright knife before its eyes."


1. Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Extracts from letters from Wallace's brother John read and commented on by Wallace at the 3 January 1871 meeting of the Zoological Society of London, and later printed in their Proceedings series.


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smith’s The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S179A.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.