The Malay Archipelago - Volume I - A Narrative Of Travel By Alfred Russel Wallace.





























































 - THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO

VOLUME I

By

ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE.


The land of the orang-utan, and the bird or paradise - Page 1
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THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO

VOLUME I

By

ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE.

The land of the orang-utan, and the bird or paradise.

A narrative of travel, with sketches of man and nature.

To CHARLES DARWIN,

AUTHOR OF "THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES,"

I dedicate this book, Not only as a token of personal esteem and friendship But also To express my deep admiration For His genius and his works.

PREFACE.

My readers will naturally ask why I have delayed writing this book for six years after my return; and I feel bound to give them full satisfaction on this point.

When I reached England in the spring of 1862, I found myself surrounded by a room full of packing cases containing the collections that I had, from time to time, sent home for my private use. These comprised nearly three thousand birdskins of about one thousand species, at least twenty thousand beetles and butterflies of about seven thousand species, and some quadrupeds and land shells besides. A large proportion of these I had not seen for years, and in my then weakened state of health, the unpacking, sorting, and arranging of such a mass of specimens occupied a long time.

I very soon decided that until I had done something towards naming and describing the most important groups in my collection, and had worked out some of the more interesting problems of variation and geographical distribution (of which I had had glimpses while collecting them), I would not attempt to publish my travels. Indeed, I could have printed my notes and journals at once, leaving all reference to questions of natural history for a future work; but, I felt that this would be as unsatisfactory to myself as it would be disappointing to my friends, and uninstructive to the public.

Since my return, up to this date, I have published eighteen papers in the "Transactions" or "Proceedings of the Linnean Zoological and Entomological Societies", describing or cataloguing portions of my collections, along with twelve others in various scientific periodicals on more general subjects connected with them.

Nearly two thousand of my Coleoptera, and many hundreds of my butterflies, have been already described by various eminent naturalists, British and foreign; but a much larger number remains undescribed. Among those to whom science is most indebted for this laborious work, I must name Mr. F. P. Pascoe, late President of the Entomological Society of London, who had almost completed the classification and description of my large collection of Longicorn beetles (now in his possession), comprising more than a thousand species, of which at least nine hundred were previously undescribed and new to European cabinets.

The remaining orders of insects, comprising probably more than two thousand species, are in the collection of Mr. William Wilson Saunders, who has caused the larger portion of them to be described by good entomologists. The Hymenoptera alone amounted to more than nine hundred species, among which were two hundred and eighty different kinds of ants, of which two hundred were new.

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