Would like to have nearest available estimate of the total number of described, or known, Coleoptera - or those in the Museum. Also from Mr Kirby or who now is in charge of Lepidoptera, approximate number of special in that order - for lecture at the Royal Institution, hence approximation will be sufficient.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 2
Transcriber: Benny, Ruth
Transcription date: January 28, 2014
Signed off: no
Nov[embe]r 23rd 1908
Dear Mr. Waterhouse
Can you give me the nearest available estimate of the total number of described, or known Coleptera1 -- or those in the Museum2?
I would also be much obliged if you would obtain from Mr. Kirby3 (or whoever is now in charge of the Lepidoptera4) the approximate number of species in that order.
Also if any estimate has recently been made - the number of all known Insects.
As I only want them for the [] purpose of a lecture I am preparing for the Royal Institution, almost any approximate estimate will be sufficient.
Yours very truly Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
1. Coleptera, commonly known as beetles.
2. British Museum (Natural History)
3. William Forsell Kirby, English entomologist and folklorist. Staff member at British Museum (Natural History) in charge on Lepidoptera.
4. Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies.
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