The Killing Jar 3.XI.2009

The Killing Jar 3.XI.2009 - Entomolygy case, 5 x Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, entomology pins

The initial pilot piece “The Killing Jar 3.XI.2009″ represents the deaths of 5 british service men who
were killed by an Afghan police officer that they were training. The fatalities are represented by an English Small Tortoise Shell Butterfly. The media reported this event as a Rogue Afghan policeman. Recent years have seen a rapid decline in numbers of Small Tortoiseshell numbers across Britain.

The primary reason for this decline is thought to be due to the expanding range of a tachinid parasitoid fly called Sturmia bella which was first recorded in Britain in 1999. The adult fly (Sturmia bella) lays its eggs on the surface of Common Nettle leaves. These are ingested by the young caterpillars of the Small Tortoiseshell. The Sturmia bella larvae develop within the caterpillar and emerge just after the caterpillar pupates, killing the pupae in the process. The Sturmia bella larvae then pupate themselves.”