Letters from John Curtis to Alexander Henry Haliday 29 February 1832, 4 November 1832 and 22nd December 1832
J. Curtis to A.H,H, written 29th Feb. 1832 posted March 3rd 1832 I know not how to thank you for the trouble you have taken and the invaluable additions you have made to my cabinet, I can only hope that they will not be ill bestowed and although I cannot publish as many as I would wish in BE I hope some other opportunity will offer to make more of your valuable researches of use to the entomological student.
J. Curtis to A.H,H 4th Nov.1832
I shall devote tomorrow to studying your valuable paper on the Aphidii and will afterwards return it to you. I have since arranged my species and copied your divisions into my Ms. for descr. and hope that I have not taken too great advantage of your friendship, your fureatus seems to be my pictus, your Rosa my dimidiatus and my minutus is closely allied to your letifer. As my names are printed in the Guide  I hope if you publish you will apply as many of them as you can, otherwise it will not merely become a dead letter in parts, but great confusion may be caused and I will never throw any stumbling block in the way. In my Genus Aphidius  547 you will find three species of yours which now you do not notice, this has caused me a good deal of concern, tell me if you can whether you have forgotten them or if you think now that they belong to other genera, that I may be guided in future. You say Cryptus aphidium Fab. is a Microgaster, how can that possibly be when he merely copies Linnaeus's  own words from F.S.[Fauna Suecica] no. 1643, but when I return your paper you will be better able to answer this. ….. Your observations on the Stylops and Drapetis are very valuable to me, the former I shall avail myself of before long the latter in a month or 2. I shall be very much pleased to recieve your catalogue as I am desirous of making mine as complete as I can so that when I publish a 2nd edition it may be better worth having than the 1st.
Curtis to Haliday 22nd December 1832
My Dear Sir, I was delighted at the receipt of your letter this morning as I had been expecting to hear from you for some time and I now think it better to write without delay to inform you that if you will tell me exactly which groups you wish to have and whether a part or a whole of each and give the number in the Guide of each, I will prepare and pack them up immediately on the arrival of your letter, at the same time I will send you the 2nd volume of Spinola  [Insectorum Liguriæ Species Novæ aut Rariores] which you wish to see; some Diptera left for you by Mr. F. Walker , but do not forget to tell me the exact conveyance the parcel had better be sent by, is your address, 3 North Cumberland Street, Dublin, for it would be unpleasant for both of us if the packet was miscarried. I must now give you a 'multum in parvus’ letter. Pray is it Mr.Templeton  who is now Dr. Is he now an M. Dr. I find he has given his Elenchus to that pert lad Westwood.Mr. Templeton told me there was a collection in Ireland to be disposed of from Sierra Leone, he promised to send me the particulars, that is to say about the number of species, the amount of each order and the price. I am very anxious to hear about it and recollecting that you once mentioned it to me, I think you can probably give me the particulars, if not will you do me the favour to remind Mr. Templeton of this promise and when I send your parcel I shall enclose a pair of very rare spiders I promised to lend Mr. T, to make drawings of. I am extremely obliged to you for the Ichneumonidae which I shall place in my cabinet, 2 or 3 of these are valuable acquisitions and I will send you a few insects which I hope will prove acceptable. Will you be kind enough to look again at your Lucina fasciata for I fear it is not that genus and if not what is it? Dale  and Walker were much pleased with their insects, I sent 20 species to the former and 11 to the latter Gent: and Mr. D, has sent a list for you to mark which I shall enclose, I wrote long back to Germany and Paris for the Hymenops you wished for and can get no answer, excepting two or three Frenchmen I cannot say much for my correspondents in France, if they want anything they do not forget me but with all their politeness I hear nothing of them till they again want something when they do not even acknowledge the receipt of a former present. You may depend on my getting them if I can unfortunately I was obliged to dissect the only duplicate ones I had. Pray tell me if Leiophron apicalis be a true one and can you give me one? Your Oncocerus vernalis is Callicerus (Gr) Spencii K. Be kind enough to send me before the beginning of February of your other species hybrida which I fear I forgot to take ….. I am about to publish the genus, if you have any duplicates of vernalis they will be acceptable. You can do whatever you please with Zele only remember that Z. testaceator, Z.albitarsus and the other dissections in my plate all belong to one (my) genus. I have sent 18 or 20 genera indicated in the Guide to be published in the Ent. Mag. one is my genus 546 which I call Macrocentrus (from the length of the oviduct) and if your name be not published you will not object probably to mine and Plancus (548) I have also characterised. Thanks for the offer of your paper on Dolichopidae, but I am happy to say I have seen a proof of it and I anticipate much pleasure and information from perusing it when pub. but I regret that at present I have not time to avail myself of the one in the Zoo Journal. With regard to my work I shall speak to you as a friend. Mr. Haworth  and a Gentm. whom I fear has discontinued taking it are the only two persons who had it uncolored and I could not now, without great trouble, viz going through my entire stock get a set but I feel under such obligation to you and should be so gratified by having your name in my list of subscribers that I shall not hesitate to supply you with the work colored at the same price the booksellers pay viz 3/6 a number (this of course between ourselves) at the same time do not from delicacy accede to my proposal, as I am fully convinced of your wishes to be of service to me, if therefore you decline the offer we will drop the subject for the present. I must however add that Haworth very much regrets that he did not take a colored copy and you would also for they are 3/0 a number. Many thanks for your sketch of the Geranomyia - 'what a curious fellow, I suppose he turns his head round to feed, since his eyes meet beneath and like the fox throws his prey over his back. The nat size I shall find in the Ent. Mag. I suppose. Thanks for the additions to my Guide, I have only had time to examine the- and Pompili at present. You will see in my addenda appended to the last number of B.E. what has happened respecting Helcomyza ustulata and it only proves how dangerous it is to supply names to insects unpublished and undescribed especially without knowing the author. On referring to my 5th volume of Meigen I see under actora I had written in pencil Helcomyza? but my genus was published two years before I have recieved that volume therefore it is not my error although my work is blemished and suffers by it. You do not tell me what Entedon in a cluster it is you want, I cannot find it — what is the size, colour etc. I was delighted to possess Ceraphron Halidayii first because I had named it after you and ? it is very essential to possess those insects I figure:the female of Scatophaga also was a most valuable addition. Tipula dispar I only had the male of, I never could understand the female but thought it had been killed before the wings were fully expanded, never having taken it myself and I need scarcely say there was not an insect you sent me that was not fully acceptable. I know not if I ever told you that I had undertaken to describe the insects collected in Captain King's  survey of the Straits of Magellan, but they occupy some of my leisure moments and I have now got them into order and have labelled the whole so that I know from what place each specimen cameo Mr. Walker has kindly undertaken to describe the Diptera and I wish to ask you if you would like to undertake the Hymenoptera, there are not so many species, Ichneumonidae, ants, wasps and bees. I am entitled to the 2nd specimens which I shall have great pleasure in awarding to you if the undertaking would afford you any satisfaction. I would figure one of two of the most curious or conspicuous and any time before Midsummer would do. I will put into the box some British Ichneumonidae hoping you will do me the favour at your leisure to append to them their Generic names and if you know them the specific also but not to take any trouble about it and whenever there are 2 alike I beg you will take one if desirable. Pray do me the favour to answer the different questions in this letter as I have no copy or memorandum. I shall hope to hear shortly from you and sincerely wishing you in a good old English Phrase a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, believe me to be my dear Sir
Yours most faithfully, John Curtis