Biodiversity Online Daddy Long Legs



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Daddy long legs

Kurt Jackson (2021)

Mixed media on monoprint, 29cm x 33cm


Dr Leonidas-Romanos Davranoglou: Research

Dr Davranoglou is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Leonidas's research aims to elucidate the origins of sound production in some of nature's greatest singers – the cicadas and their relatives (Hemipteran insects). This is done using state-of-the-art techniques such as X-ray microtomography, laser Doppler vibrometry, and high-speed cameras.

Dr Leonidas-Romanos Davranoglou: Response

"This artwork embodies the endless diversity and sophistication of nature, with each pinned crane fly telling a unique story about life on our planet. Did you know that crane flies have modified their hind wings into gyroscopes that help them orient themselves while flying? Or that when attacked, they will shed their legs in defence? Globally there are 15,000 crane fly species, every single one of them fulfilling its own role in the ecosystem. In an era of rapidly declining biodiversity and species abundance in ecosystems, this artwork reminds me of the relevance of my research in documenting and preserving the book of life for generations to come."

Making of the artwork

Kurt Jackson's "Daddy long legs" is based on insects from the Entomology Collections at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Daddy long legs are a form of fly (Diptera). More specifically, they belong to the crane-fly family, Tipulidae.