Publisher Information: Montpellier: 1835.
Dugès, Antoine Louis (1797-1838). Autograph letter signed, in French, to an unidentified scientific correspondent. 4pp. N.p., n.dn [ca. 1835]. 191 x 120 mm. Light toning, a few small lacunae due to removal from album, slightly affecting a few words, but very good.
From French naturalist and obstetrician Antoine Dugès, co-author (with Henri Milne Edwards) of the section on arachnids in the third edition of Cuvier’s monumental Le règne animal distribué d’après son organization (1836) and author of important works on mites, worms and the osteology and myology of amphibians, as well as the influential Traité de physiologie comparée de l’homme et des animaux (1838), dedicated to Etienne Geoffroy Saint Hilaire. The present letter, written to one of Dugès’s scientific colleague, is entirely devoted to his researches on spiders, and most likely relates to the work he was doing on Cuvier’s Le règne animal:
"No one knows better than you everything relating to the study of arachnids, and you will excuse the enthusiasm that motivates the request I would like to make today. I have collected and preserved in alcohol a very large number of spider species from our southern region; I found most of them in the environs of Paris and several species from Italy, Spain and even Africa, but there is one that has until now escaped my search although not rare in the northern regions of France; it is the argyroneta [water spider]. Is it rude, sir, for me to approach you in the hope of a specimen? M. Bérard, a correspondent of the Institute and my colleague at Montpellier’s Faculté de Médecine, who has volunteered to deliver you this letter, would also take care to bring me your gift if you could do this for me without troubling yourself . . .
". . . I venture to send you several specimens and various things that may possibly have not yet been communicated to you. The Filistata bicolor is the most common spider in Montpellier and its surroundings, however the male is rare . . . I send it to you in two states, prepubertal and pubertal . . . the length of the legs and of the mandibles is so different at these two stages that one could doubt their identity without the incontestable proof that I have of it . . ."Book Id: 43372