RECORD: 'Pediculus. Chiloe.' [Beagle insect notes] (7.1834) CUL-DAR29.1.C2 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker. (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by Kees Rookmaaker, checked by John van Wyhe 8.2009. RN1
NOTE: This note was transcribed on p. 43 in: Smith, Kenneth G. V. 1987. Darwin's insects: Charles Darwin's entomological notes, with an introduction and comments by Kenneth G. V. Smith. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Historical Series. Vol. 14(1): 1-143. Text
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Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.
[continued in CUL-DAR29.1.C1]
1834. Pediculus.1 Chiloe. July
These disgusting vermin are very abundant in Chiloe: several people have assured me that they are quite different from the Lice in England: they are said to be much larger and softer (hence will not crack under the nail) they infest the body even more than the head.— I should suppose they originally come from the Indians, whose race is so predominant with these Islanders.— I have little doubt this is the kind so common amongst the Patagonians of Gregory Bay; they are said to be there also very large.— An accurate examination of these specimens will at once decide the fact of identity or difference.— Mr Martial, a surgeon of an English Whaler assures me that the Lice of the Sandwich Islanders are blacker and different from these, or any lice, which he ever saw.— Several of the natives lived for months and cruized in the ship, no efforts could free their bodies from these parasites but he assures me as a certain fact, known to every one on board that their Lice if they strayed to the bodies of the English in 3 or 4 days died, and were found adhering to the linen (like Pediculi from Birds or quadrupeds?). So that the Sailors, who constantly slept close to the Sandwichers never were constantly infested by their vermin. If these facts were verified their interest would be great.— Man springing from one stock according his varieties having different species of parasites.2
1 Identified in Darwin's insects p. 43, as Phthiraptera.
'2 Man springing from one stock' This line demonstrates that as early as the Beagle voyage it was common knowledge, for Darwin, that all human races were a single species descended from one stock. JvW
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