July 5. 1806—
I take the liberty of sending you by the Bearer two worms which I took this afternoon on a lombardy poplar tree standing on dry ground that answers, I think, very well (although the colour of the same worm is variegated and the shades of the two are different from each other) the description of the reptile, said to be poisenous, which infests those ornamental trees.—As this subject has lately excited some speculation, I supposed it would be gratifying to you to observe the worm particularly; and therefore trouble you with this communication which I beg you will be so obliging as to excuse—
With the greatest respect I am, Sir, your obedt. Servt.
John P Van Ness
N.B. A description is enclosed—
MoSHi: Bixby Collection.