Letters from A.H. Haliday to J.C. Dale

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Letters from A.H. Haliday to J.C. Dale
by Alexander Henry Haliday


AHH to JC Dale OUM Hope Dept. Letter 18

My dear Sir I thought it as well to write to Mr. F. Rondani to enquire about the opportunities of conveyance to Genoa. F. Rondani has written to reply that Mr. Rondani is now at Leghorn and that he will be sending a parcel to him there at the end of this month an that it will be sent on to Genoa thence- that on a small [emphasised] parcel the charge will be 2/0.On reference to an old letter from the Marquis de Spinola I find he mentions two ways by sea or throug Balliere in London (219 Rgt. St.) the latter way he would choose himself.This therefore seems the better course.I enclose you a note of the conveyance direct [emphasised] to Genoa [newspaper clipping attached]. I am sending a very small packet by a private hand. I am sorry that I have not had the opportunity to send yours by the same, but in fact, except for a special circumstance I should have chosen the passage by the bookseller myself as I intend to should I send another. I have not got anything yet put up for Rondani but intend soon to do so.The weather is very cold latterly and I think the collecting season is closed. I heard from Curtis the other day after his return from Lincoln. I was very sorry to peruse that is health and spirits are not more improved. Yours faithfully

A.H. Haliday Clifden October 5th 1846

Ps. Do you happen to have any unset duplicates lying by of 170 Clypeaster 171 Sepioderus 171 Orthoperus I find I have none available for dissection.

AHH to JC Dale OUM Hope Dept. Letter 19

My dear Sir Thanks for the letter and the box of insects you were so kind as to send to me. The Diapriadae I will examine at leisure with others. Should there be no additions among these they will be interesting to enlarge my list of localities. The 54 Aphidius from fir is, I believe different from any of my Pinicolae section. Atherodes hirtallus I found a good many of on pini not [emphasised] on furze [emphasised], I believe it acquires wings [emphasised]. The four small Coleoptera in the middle were [!] on one card Gabrius pygmaeus Stephens (Phalarus) and 165 Ephestemus diadematus Sturm ( ... pius Stephens) the other contained a couple of small species [small species emphasised] and different from mine of the very genus [very genus emphasised] for the invesigation of which I wish to compare Clypeaster L. The receipt of another sp. [another sp.emphasised] makes it seem improbable that it should be unknown to Europn. Students yet I cannot find the genus [emphasised] characterised anywhere and I have looked first in Redtenbachers analytic tables of Coleopt Genera.

The larger Col. sent without names you doubtless know better than myself 152 Engis rufifrons and Heterophaga diaperina (= picipes Stephens). You ave given me a large supply of 622 Elasmus nearly all female- the appearance of only one sex (at least at a time) out of a brood is nothing uncommon among these tribes, the males I blieve are generally earlier than females.After I received your last I sent a P.S to Mr. Spinola mentioning your despatch and the mode of transmission, that he may be able to enquire of it if not delivered promptly. I have seen the de Selys paper but cannot say I have studied it. I am ignorant (very) of the Libellulidae and have collected only a small number of even the Irish spp. Is it not curious that ten days collecting at and around L. Neagh this summer showed only 3 spp. and these few in individuals and local. I have few bees Nomadus and Ireland is very poor in these and the collection I made in England was not large.Mr. Smith as offered some in exchange but I scarcely aspire to a collection of species [emphasised] contenting myself with a series of generic types [emphasised] of Hymenoptera [emphasised]. I have therefore declined the offer of one or two rare ones which I felt would be thrown away in my boxes. I will look over mine at a more leisured time and tell you what I ave. The two Bethylii are both females- the male is smaller and has paler [emphasised] , Curtis as figd. a bright var. (male) of this sex.Your observation about the apterous Hemiptera corroborates the opinion which seems prevalent now. The species which deserve most attention in this repect Are those where there is not merely more or less shortening of the wings [emphasised] but where there is a ifferent formation of the thorax in consquence and no intermediate forms. - V. velia L.

I don't know whether you read German. There ave been great contributions of late to the knowledge of European Coleoptera, particularly in the form of monographs as on Anthicus, Anisotomidae,Heterocerus, Byrrhus, Malachius, Latridius and Corticaria, the Coccinellidae, Elateridae and besides Mulsant's Coleoptera of France and Lacordaire's Chrysomelia. In consequence of my remarks on the Irish maritime Heterocera Mr. V. Wollaston as sent me a pair of a sp. common at Whittlesea which rather puzzles me [puzzles me emphasised] I should have called it obsoletus had only one of the specimens been before me , but the other as elytra marked as 102 laevigatus a varn. of which I can find no notice published. I defer returning your boxes till I remove the contents carefully and consider if there is anything I can put in likely to interest you instead of sending them back empty. I hope the colder weather will agree with you. . It (at least the damp we have here) is not at all agreeable to me and I had thoughts of spending this winter abroad. That however cannot be as far as I can see and a summer trip is the next thing I propose if practicable. I should much like to colllect a little in the southern and eastern alps.

Yours A H Haliday 15th October 1846

AHH to JC Dale OUM Hope Dept. Letter 20 "I have enclosed for you the description of Anthicus humilis [1] that you may judge for yourself of the correctness of my determination. Also a note as to Heterophaga diapesina [2] lest I be in error here. I will send you Lampronota marginator Schiødte (= denticornis Hal. ). I am not sure I have a duplicate of nigra which I have found only in Scotland. These with caligata (=crenicornis B.E.) complete the Genus , maculatoria L. being Stilbonota of Stephens[3] though how the names should be apportioned types being duly considered I am not sure. Schiodtes Megastylus [Ichneumonidae] is positively my Helictes and his cruentator =cruenta M. I have got some copies of the Danish Journal of Natural History (Krogers)[4] and am glad to find that by the help of German and a vocabulary I can pick out what I require though tediously. When I can get a sight of Stannius [5] on Dolichopodidae which appeared in 1831, a few months before my list in Zool. Journal of that year I must give a revision of my Irish list as I find that between this and Staeger that there are many synonyms. Staeger [6] refers Dol obscurellus 1258/52 to 1257 Sybistroma a genus of which I did not think I had any and.......a separate genus Ammobates Stann. (already used by Latreille for bees) for Dolichopus plumipes and notatus Stn. (=litoreus m.). I find the Diptera if I look much at them will be my prime favourites. I have some notes to pen on 1173 Mycetophila etc. and have to beg some information from you. My specimens of Mycetobia annnulata wh. I had from you has lost the four hind legs and I cannot see the palpi distinctly. I should like to know, expressly, what I dare say you can tell me if the posterior tibia have two spurs at the tip and how many joints are present in the palpi. I have no hesitation in referring it to Winnertz [7] genus - though there is a little difference in the form of the eyes, antennae and veining of the wings. Perhaps the other sp. fasciata Meigen which inhabits Boletus versicolor may be English. Annulata is like a large Platyura ferrugineus with dusky abdominal rings, pubescent wings and you will I think recognise it by the very distinct type of venation in the wings. I, once only, took here Mycetobia ferruginosa Mg.. which forms Macquart’ s [8] genus Macroneura. It is bad enough that I only answer your letters full of matter and interest with questions but where one is ignorant these follow.Your Phlaeothrips on account of it's colour- darker than the other species- I had named in my Mss. descriptions tristis. I am glad to know the habitat of the Aphidius as it will supply a specific name.. The Macrocnema from Lundy Isle I have (I suppose) from Mr Wollaston[9] . I had one very like it taken here. The little beetle you sent me has trimerous tarsi (pseudotrimerous). Redtenbacher [[10] characterises the rest of this Fam. Clypeastres [Clypeastres Redtenbacher 1845 Werke: Die Gattungen der deutschen Käfer-Fauna nach der analytischen Methode, 1845] [11] which Erichson [12] united with Coccinellidae. I do not know whether Stephens Sericoderus will prove identical with Clypeaster or to be a separate genus but those I know I divide thus [half page of Synopsis] I have no doubt that your collection includes stores of unknown riches. In Diptera especially I expect it will afford valuable resources when that order is seriously taken up[Haliday is clearly aware that the Diptera remained largely unworked at this date]. I am almost disheartened about collecting them, this place [Holywood, Ireland] is so poor and I have lost so many of them by neglect they are so fragile and tempting to devourers. In the genus Dolichopus 1258 I find my Irish species in number approach Staeger's Danish List (I have not an English species additional) and my British list of Hydromyzidae curiously coincides in number with Stenhammar of Swedish- but then in others I fall so short. I have little more than half the Tipulae (Irish) that are given as Danish and it is a genus I collected most carefully & so of most others. I am not fond of resetting my insects as I find it so much more tedious a job than setting them while fresh. I think I shall begin to satisfy myself with the modern German mode of setting without any attempt at regularity or flat display. I was surprised to find that laurel water dosed above the normal strength too did not prevent a rich crop of mould when I left insects to relax for more than a week. i was in hope that it would have kept insects fresh enough for several days in order to allow dissectionof the tender internal organs but the experiment was not quite successful. Have you ever tried the comparative aptitude of the laurel leaves themselves and of cotton soaked with strong laurel water ? The laurel leaves kill better than the other of the degree I used. Vapour of naptha is one of the most certain and rapid killers I know but rather stiffens them so I have given it up. I still prefer heat of steam to all other modes in general: it is so rapid and does not stiffen. Amongst thehaunts which have of late afforded additions to entomology, the nests of birds, swallows, sparrows, owls etc have been searched with good results. The dry twigs of old logs, boughs, decaying hedges etc too have yielded various rare coleoptera. About the Hydrophorus 9-maculatus of Rudd I do not rember anything. I enclose the Tinea of the evergreen oak ill conditioned specimens perhaps you can tell me the name. It abouds on both the common and narrow -leaved variety. Also a male Bethylus- youwill see the obtuse abdomen distinguishes it from female. Have you ever met with a genuine Glochnia ? Staeger gives three Danish species but I believe he distinguishes the Genus nearly as I did when I included leucocephala and dimetorum, the former perhaps is right not the latter. I can make no remarks about Libellulae as I am ignorant, but hope they will be of use to me hereafter I have never seen but one of Elasmus. I have observed a similar case as you mention, in rearing a nest of Eulophis ramicornis 623 from which I did not procure 1 male. Your note about 1046 Atheroides hirtellus is curious. I found only one (pupa) with pterothecae developed wh. I sent forthwith to F. Walker who as you know is working on aphides and it had come out winged when it reached him. Yours faithfully A.H.H Clifden 23 Oct. 1846