RECORD: S143a. Wallace, A. R. 1869. Discussion [regarding the brightness of color of beetles in the East Indies]. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of London 1869: iv.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed (double key) by AEL Data. RN1

[page] iv

Mr. Druce exhibited a collection of butterflies from Nicaragua, brought to this country by Mr. Thomas Belt. Amongst them was a Papilio, near to P. Sesostris; aud a series of Heliconiidæ representing four genera, but which looked like one species, the whole of them being found flying together. Ten or twelve new species had been obtained by Mr. Hewitson out of Mr. Belt's collection.

The President had obtained some handsome new species of Coleoptera, also from Mr. Belt, the scene of whose operations was the neighbourhood of the Chontales mines. Nicaragua was divided in the middle, the Atlantic side being forest, the Pacific side savannah and open grass-land; Chontales lay on the edge of the Atlantic belt of forest, and in consequence of the development of the mines there had been considerable felling of timber, and most of Mr. Belts Coleoptera were brought to him by the wood-cutters: there were some very fine forms of Stenaspis, Colobothea, Amphionycha, Oncideres, Anisocerus, &c., &c., and it seemed as if the tropical types culminated in size and beauty in Nicaragua. So far as American Coleoptera were concerned (though he could not say that he had observed the same thing in other Orders), it seemed that at and near the Equator the species were comparatively dull in colour, but brighter hues were assumed both in the North and South tropics.

Mr. A. R. Wallace thought this held good in the East also. The beetles of Borneo were generally dull in colour, whilst more brilliant forms were found both in Ceylon and China, in Java and Australia. The excessive uniformity in the character of the vegetation was perhaps the cause of the prevailing dullness of the beetles found within the equatorial belt.

By an unanimous vote the Secretary was requested to express to the Rev. T. A. Marshall, on behalf of the Members of the Society, their sympathy and condolence with him on the recent loss, through the foundering of a ship between Milford Haven and Barnstaple, of the whole of his library and manuscripts and collection of insects. The destruction of his minute British Hymenoptera belonging to groups but little studied, and of the types of species characterized by Mr. Marshall, was more than a private misfortune, and was an irreparable loss to Science.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2012-. Wallace Online. (

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