Wollaston, T. V.
Catalogue of the coleopterous insects of the Canaries in the collection of the British Museum.
London, The Trustees of the British Museum, 1864. Thick 8vo (21.9 x 14.0 x 3.8 cm). xiii, 648, 8 pp. Publisher's blind-stamped cloth with gilt title on the spine. Yellow endpapers.
The first thorough work on the insects of the Canary Islands following the less extensive work of Webb and Berthelot. The material was mostly collected by the author. As could be expected from rather isolated island-faunas most species described in this work are endemic. Thomas Vernon Wollaston FLS (1822-1878) published a series of eight island faunal studies, the others being on the insects of Madeira (published in 1854), the Coleoptera of Madeira in the British Museum (1857), those of the Cape Verde Islands (1867), on the beetles of the Canaries (this work), on the landshells of the Atlantic islands (1878), and on the variation of species, with especial reference to the insecta (1858). The latter paper in particular is an important contribution to evolution. However, Wollaston, concludes from his researches that species were created under a divine plan to best suit local circumstances. Published in the year previous to Darwin's "On the origin of species", it was kindly received by Darwin. In turn, Wollaston, who could not shed his religious beliefs, published quite a negative review of Darwin's work. Thereafter sympathy between both men although they were working on much the same subject deteriorated slowly but steadily. The present work includes new genera and many new species. Uncut. In the rear a list of British Museum work on zoology, dated 1863. A mint copy. Extremely rare in this state. Cat. BM(NH) V, p. 2,350; Horn-Schenkling II(4), p. 453.