Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
Living Lights (S405a: 1887)
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: In a long letter to the Editor of Science, "A" discussed a review
of a book on phosphorescence that had appeared in that journal. As part of the discussion "A"
mentions he was able to get Wallace's opinion on a certain point; this is given below. This
originally appeared on page 227 of the 4 November 1887 issue. To link directly to this page,
connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S405A.htm
. . . It chanced that we were able to ask the opinion of the eminent English naturalist, Mr.
Alfred Russell Wallace, to whom this subject was familiar. He expressed readiness to believe the
existence of luminosity in such birds, notwithstanding the literature on the subject is so meagre,
and quoted the well-known case of the lantern-fly. Mr. Wallace was an explorer in South
America, as is well known, and in answer to our question he said, "I did not observe the
phenomenon of luminosity in the lantern-fly, but Madam Mérian, the distinguished entomologist,
and the Marquis Spinola, did; the former giving detailed accounts of several which emitted such
powerful luminosity, on opening the box in which they were confined, that she was alarmed. I am
therefore not entitled to deny the statements." . . .
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